Subscribe: Foodycat
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
bit  butter  cake  chicken  couple  didn  ginger  good  lemon  made  much  new  paul  prawn  recipe  sugar  time  tsp 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Foodycat


Recipes, trying new local ingredients, occasional reviews and always enjoying my food.

Last Build Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2018 16:56:08 +0000


Ginger and lemon friands

Sat, 03 Mar 2018 10:22:00 +0000

March 3rd, 2018As you'll probably know if you have any friends in the UK, over the last few days we've had snow. Snow in places and quantities that don't usually get snow. Yesterday it was bitterly cold and coming down pretty much all day, leaving an even blanket this morning.Now, our house is magnificently insulated. In our previous house winter was freezing, we'd have to run the heating constantly and still have a sleeping bag piled over the winter duvets, wearing gloves to keep hands flexible enough to type. In this house, unless the wind is howling we sleep with the bedroom window open and we haven't even put the winter duvets on the bed. It's comfy. It means that now when we look at charming character properties in estate agent windows we just give a shudder and think of the energy bill. We're finding the mod cons of insulation and double glazing to be, well, convenient.Makes 12. One had already been snaffled for scienceWhat I am saying is I didn't really have to bake. It's not like I wanted to run the oven to help heat the kitchen, or that we needed the extra calories for warmth. But I had eggwhites and we weren't leaving the house, so I spent a few quiet minutes pottering in the kitchen.Ginger and lemon friands (makes 12)85g plain flour250g icing sugar100g ground almonds1tsp ground gingerGrated zest of a lemon45g blanched almonds85g crystallised ginger7 eggwhites (210g liquid eggwhite)190g melted butterPreheat the oven to 180C (fan). Use a little of the melted butter to grease the friand tins.Sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl and add the ground almonds, ground ginger and lemon zest. Either finely chop or pulse together in a small processor the blanched almonds and crystallised ginger. Not to a paste, but to a crumb. Mix that through the other dry ingredients. Whip the eggwhites with a fork until frothy and fold in with the melted butter. It takes quite a bit of folding to convince the butter to play nicely.Divide the mixture between the tins - for 12 friand tins it comes up about 2/3 of the way.Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 160C and bake for another 10 minutes. This initial high heat (in my old oven I did it at 210C but this oven - again a mod con - is much more efficient) gives the characteristic central cracked dome.Cool for a couple of minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Will keep a week if you let them.[...]

Pasta with tuna, capers and lemon

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 20:41:00 +0000

About 18 years ago I cooked for Paul for the first time. I made a very simple pasta dish, and I still remember even that being a challenge because he was kissing the back of my neck distractingly. I'm not entirely sure what day it is today and yet I also remember vividly that after we ate he said that he really liked the way I put slivers of the lemon zest in with the tuna. I like that bit too, so I think the lemon zest is essential.

I've been making it exactly the same way ever since. The only thing I have done differently this time is boosted the lemon flavour a bit by dropping the shell of the juiced and zested lemon into the cooking water.

Pasta with tuna, capers and lemon (serves 2)

Pasta (you know how much 2 of you eat. I am not going to recommend or judge)
Olive oil
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 tbs capers, drained
1 lemon, zested and juiced
A handful of flatleaf parsley, chopped
Good quality tuna in oil. 1-2 large cans depending on whether you have to share it with your cat

While the pasta (I think this is best with linguine, but we were eating in front of the TV so a smaller shape was more manageable) is boiling, put the capers, lemon zest and juice, parsley and tuna in a bowl. Slice the garlic.

When the pasta is cooked, reserve about a quarter of a cup of the cooking water and drain the rest, discarding the shell of the lemon if you added that to the water. Return the pot to the heat. Warm a slosh of olive oil and saute the sliced garlic until it is fragrant and beginning to brown, then add the bowl of tuna etc. Return the drained pasta to the pot, add the reserved starchy cooking water and bring back to the boil, simmering for just a minute or so. If you want to add some grated parmesan, in the teeth of Italian disapproval, go ahead. Silvio Berlusconi's ongoing career demonstrates that not all Italians get it right all the time.

Quince and ginger upside down cake

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 10:23:00 +0000

At Christmas, I bought some quinces. I had several extravagant plans for them, but then we didn't end up doing much in the way of desserts over the festive period. So I peeled, quartered and cored them and baked them in some sugar syrup until they were tender and amber coloured.

Some went into the quince and clementine trifle and the rest, with their syrup, went into the freezer until inspiration struck.

And inspiration has struck.

Quince and ginger upside down cake

75g caster sugar
2tbs water
4-6 quarters of poached quince (only use 4 if you are cooking it just for this recipe because otherwise it is madness)
140g golden caster sugar
140g butter, softened
2 eggs
40g ground almonds
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground ginger
5-6 pieces crystallised ginger, cut into chunky pieces

Preheat oven to 180C.

Line a 1lb loaf tin with a non-stick liner (or baking parchment).

In a small pan, gently melt together the 75g caster sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved, then increase heat and boil to an amber caramel. Pour into the base of the loaf tin and rotate tin to cover evenly.

Arrange the quince pieces on the caramel in a more-or-less pleasing fashion.

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, then fold in the dry ingredients and crystallised ginger until combined but don't overwork.

Gently spread the batter over the quince, trying not to disturb it.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until well browned and a skewer tests clean.

Stand for 5 minutes before turning out to cool.

Happy New Year! And festive feasting

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 12:14:00 +0000

New Year's Eve fondueHappy New Year, all! Hope you've been able to muster some cautious optimism for the year to come.Bit of an unusual festive season for us. We entertained! And we mostly didn't eat meat!My aunt came to stay with us for a couple of weeks over Christmas and New Year. She's been a vegetarian for almost 40 years, and I couldn't face the idea of making two different meals for three people, so we resolved to cook vegetarian at home while she was with us.In the end there were loads of things I planned to make that I never got around to (the gado gado, cheesy polenta with roast shallots and figs, sage and walnut lasagne and the white bean puree with roast radicchio can all wait until her next visit) but what I did cook went pretty well, I thought.Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's savoury carrot and feta cakeFelicity Cloake's perfect panforteNigella's take on pizzocheri - pasta with potato, brussels sprouts and cheese - for Christmas Eve dinnerI started planning what to cook for Christmas Day a couple of months ago. We aren't wedded to any particular traditional Christmas meal, so we weren't trying to fit vegetarian food into a pre-existing format, but we wanted something a bit sumptuous and celebratory. I originally thought that a stuffed pumpkin would be good, but decided that there isn't enough room inside a pumpkin to have a decent amount of stuffing, so I reimagined it as a baked, layered dish.Sour cherry couronneWe started Christmas day, however, with couronne. It's mostly Paul Hollywood's recipe, but substituting sour cherries for apricots (I didn't bother soaking them) and lovely Italian crystallised citrus peel for the raisins. Instead of plain marzipan I used a new-to-me brandy marzipan, which packed quite a wallop.Mezze plateFor lunch we just had mezze - bought hummus, felafel, artichoke hearts, olives, dolmades and stuffed peppadews, with some leftover carrot and feta cake, and a few bits of pickled carrot and mooli. Then the layered baked squash for dinner.November's trial run on the Christmas squashIn my practice runs I had used delica pumpkin, which sliced into neat crescents which cooked evenly and looked like a pretty sunburst.Unfortunately Ocado let me down on the day and delivered a butternut - good flavour but not as pretty!The layers of squash were interspersed with sauteed onion, loads of rosemary and sage, crumbled sourdough bread, toasted hazelnuts, crumbled Stilton cheese and garlic. Then I poured cream and white wine over the lot and let it bake slowly.We had a persimmon and chicory salad with it (Diana Henry's recipe, although for obvious reasons I left out the cheese and nuts). Delicious, if not in any way photogenic.Final version of baked layered squashThere was no need at all for dessert after all that! Later in the week I made a quince and clementine trifle, but we really didn't go in much for pudding at home.Quince and clementine trifleOn New Year's Eve we had a fondue for lunch, and then friends came over for tea and cake. I'd been looking for an excuse to make Ottolenghi's walnut and halva cake, and this seemed like just the time. It's a very good cake.Ottolenghi's walnut & halva cakeThe other main home-cooking highlights of the festive period were a rather triumphant take on megadarra (I used siyez bulgar instead of rice, topped it with pomegranate arils and goats curd and served it with runner beans stewed in tomatoes) and pairing Ottolenghi's bulgar with mushrooms, feta and dill with Gizzi Erskine's brussels sprout, pomegranate and pistachio salad. Which end up looking quite similar, so fortunately we didn't have them back to back.Megadarra and runner beansOttolenghi's bulgar and Gizzi Erskine's sprouts[...]

Prawn curries

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 09:40:00 +0000

For some reason, Paul's had a bee in his bonnet lately about prawn curry. He even called our home wifi network prawn curry. He declared that he believed a good prawn curry had to be possible, but that he'd never had one. He asked the guys at work for their best tips, and they all declared that asafoetida was key.Which meant I had to buy asafoetida. And now means that I have most of a bag of asafoetida (which smells like an onion farted after drinking Guinness) in a sealed ziplock bag and that is in a tupperware tub and you can still smell it in the cupboard.And I had to find a prawn curry recipe that actually used asafoetida.I went with the Hairy Bikers Keralan prawn curry. Sorry about the autoplay video on that link. You'd have thought that everyone would know by now that autoplay is blooming annoying.Hairy Bikers Keralan Prawn CurryIt was fine. A coconutty base but I found it too saucy and rich, and I honestly don't think the asafoetida contributed anything. I asked Paul whether the workmates he consulted have ever actually cooked anything and he assured me that they have.Next up was Maunika Gowardhan's Malabar Prawn Curry. The slight acidity from the tomatoes and the hit of tamarind works much better with prawns than a rich coconut base, to my mind.Maunika Gowardhan's Malabar Prawn CurryWe really liked the addition of the mustard seeds, but somehow it still wasn't quite there. We've had takeaway a few times recently from a South Indian restaurant, and discovered appam, so I had a crack at those as an accompaniment. Not very successfully.First attempt at appam - batter too thickThen we tried the prawn patia recipe from Camellia Panjabi's classic 50 Great Curries of India.Camellia Panjabi's prawn patiaAnother tomato-based one, with tamarind and a little sugar to balance.2nd attempt at appamAnd another unsuccessful attempt at appam. I think I will leave them to the experts.The most recent one cracked the prawn curry, I think. I mostly followed Camellia Panjabi's recipe again, but added some black mustard seeds when I fried the cumin seeds at the beginning, included a good chunk of ginger in my garlic and chilli paste, and used fresh turmeric. It was exactly what I wanted in a prawn curry - hot, slightly sweet, with a tang that showcased the plump prawns.I used leftover appam batter from my 2nd attempt as a frying batter for some squid rings, which I sprinkled with chaat masala (1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp amchoor, 1/4 tsp Kashmiri chilli, 1/4 tsp black salt) - much more successful than my appam.My prawn curry[...]

Thanksgiving - green bean casserole and pumpkin pie

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 12:29:00 +0000

Quite often when Paul asks me to cook something for him I ignore him. A decade of him saying he wanted a dish only to be over the craving by the time I made it has taught me better. Like the time recently where he asked me to make a chocolate cake with caramel filling, only to admit that he only wanted a bite of a slice of such a cake. Fortunately I hadn't got beyond considering a recipe with that one.In the last few weeks though, he's become interested in a couple of the elements of a classic American Thanksgiving dinner - pumpkin pie and green bean casserole. I've always found green bean casserole a baffling proposition, myself, so I was quite happy to go along with him this time and make a cut-down Thanksgiving dinner to give him a chance to try those things.I've made pumpkin pie before. Although apparently not for about 15 years if I've never made it for Paul. I bought some shortcrust pastry and a can of pumpkin puree and consulted Heather's blog (always good for pie recipes), settling on her Buttermilk Pumpkin Pie. I added 1 tsp of freshly grated ginger and reduced the brown sugar by 1/4 cup, but otherwise followed the recipe.The green bean casserole is a very strange thing. The idea of beans in cream of mushroom soup with a crunchy topping isn't particularly appealling. I'd always assumed that it was one of those dishes that had gradually been debased with convenience products, but when I started to look for a recipe to inflict on Paul I discovered that in its purest original form it used frozen beans and canned soup. It was, in fact, an invention of the Campbells soup company in 1955. I can't think of any other similar recipe that has had such an impact. In Australia maybe the salad on the side of the Chang's crispy noodle packet, possibly the cheesecake on the Philadelphia packet. But nothing so completely ubiquitous - Campbells estimate that they sell $20 million worth of Cream of Mushroom a year and that 40% of that goes into green bean casserole.Pure form or not, I just couldn't. So I made this from-scratch version, although I admit I got bored and didn't bother making the fried onion garnish. We had it with a rolled, stuffed turkey breast and roast potatoes (I think mashed potatoes are more traditional but Paul isn't a fan). I didn't bother with the other elements of a Thanksgiving dinner - the gravy, the cranberry sauce, the sweet potatoes - for just the two of us. The casserole was fine, I guess. The mushroom sauce was quite delicious - I'd make that element again, but I just don't think green beans and mushrooms are happy companions - they would have been better off as separate elements on the plate. Maybe the French fried onions really make the difference and pull the dish together, but I won't be finding out.The pie, however, was excellent. Subtly spiced, not too sweet, perfect ratio of filling to pastry. We had it with a delicious new discovery of mine, Northern Bloc fresh ginger and caramel ice cream.Even just a turkey breast gives a lot of leftovers. At this time of year there are articles all over the place on what to do with the remnants, but I already had a plan: the Kentucky Hot Brown.  An open-faced sandwich of tomatoes, bacon and/or ham, turkey, finished with cheese sauce and grilled. I used a white bloomer instead of the traditional Texas Toast, which I thought was a few calories too far. It's a particularly good version of the leftover sandwich, because unlike a lot of the others there's no jammy cranberry sauce or chutney, just savoury all the way through. Which is sometimes just what you need.[...]

Apple cider doughnut muffins

Sat, 30 Sep 2017 14:15:00 +0000

Week before last Paul asked me to make muffins for our weekend breakfast. He specifically wanted American-style cakey muffins and he asked if they could be apple. I still don't know where my scales are, so at the moment I am quite happy with American recipes in cup measurements. I found this recipe, for Cider Doughnut Muffins and thought it'd work really well to add some dried apples to the batter.Unfortunately, there was not a dried apple to be found in all of Bedford. Someone on Twitter pointed out that it was Rosh Hashanah and that may have had an impact. I'm slightly sceptical about that to be honest - but one way or another I couldn't get the dried apples and naturally went into a massive sulk and refused to bake, despite Paul having provided alternatives in the form of dried pears and dried mangoes.This week, I got the dried apples.Dried apples soaking in reduced ciderI mostly followed the recipe. I used hard, dry English cider rather than American sweet cider, and when I had reduced it to 1 cup, I added 1 cup of chopped dried apple slices, and let them steep overnight.Very happy with that fluffy, tender crumbAnd rather than rolling the cooked muffins in melted butter and cinnamon sugar for the doughnut effect, I sprinkled each one with a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and demerara sugar before they went in the oven, so the coating cracked a bit as the muffins rose. And, presumably because of the apples, they took quite a lot longer to bake, 25 minutes, not 15-17. Very successful and tasting beautifully autumnal.[...]

Exploring the area, one pub at a time

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 20:29:00 +0000

We've been in the new house for about six weeks now. Things are gradually coming together. There are still a lot of boxes about the place, but we are slowly buying furniture to unpack into. We still say, almost daily, "Do you know where that thing is?" but with increasing frequency we're able to say "Yes, I unpacked it and put it here". The last day of the move was more than a bit fraught, so we're realising some of the things that didn't come with us and with fading optimism expecting to find other possessions.We went out for dinner the first night - The Three TunsAs we're completely new to the area, we're having to learn our way around. Bless google maps. And pretty much every time we set foot outside the house it's uncharted territory for us. We've figured out where the supermarkets and Majestic are. I have found a hairdresser. We've started what will be the work of years, investigating the local pubs.The first night we were in the house, we went out for dinner. We were sleeping on a mattress on the floor, the cat was sulking, we didn't have a fridge and hadn't unpacked any of the kitchen stuff, so cooking really wasn't an option. It's a bit strange, moving from a place where there were about a dozen places (of varying quality...) to eat within a 10 minute walk, to a place where you could walk to a restaurant, if you were really feeling motivated and had half an hour to spare. The Three Tuns is the closest to us, about a 5 minute drive away. We'd been told that it's almost perennially under new management but that the food was generally pretty good. It was. A bit overwrought - every dish we tried had one element too many - but reasonably priced and served with the kindness we needed in our equally overwrought post-move state. I had a potato and goats cheese rouladey thing, which very nice, and a massively filling but slightly undercooked fish pie served with an utterly sublime hollandaise.Halloumi fries - The FalconPaul's gone from an almost 4 hour daily commute on motorways to a 50 minute daily commute on pleasant country roads. He seems to spend most of that commute now identifying pubs he wants to try. The Falcon was one of those - it's on a bend in the river, which always adds tone to a pub. To be honest, I can't remember what I had to eat and I certainly didn't take a picture of it. Ham, egg & chips, maybe? But the big thing were the absolutely delicious halloumi fries we shared to start. They did them so well we're pretty keen to go back for a Sunday lunch.Arancini at The Horse & JockeyOur first (and so far only) crack at a Sunday pub lunch was one of our misguided ones where we only decided at about 11am that we wanted a pub lunch. So we made a list of about 5 places and called down it until we could get a reservation. We ended up at The Horse & Jockey and weren't sorry for it. Being offered delicious little chicken and lemon thyme arancini before our meals arrived was an unexpected but lovely refinement. The food was very good, although the shell-on prawn garnishing the prawn cocktail was watery and flabby, and I don't think the oil was quite hot enough to fry my fish and chips. Paul's roast beef looked excellent though, with proper attention to the veg.Old school prawn cocktail at The Horse & JockeyIt was my birthday last week, so we had a good excuse to give another pub a go. The Plough came recommended by Sharon and the menu looked good so we made reservations. The food was excellent - I had a lovely fig, blue cheese and hazelnut salad to start, followed by grilled plaice with herb butter, chips and a beautiful sprouting broccoli dish. Unfortunately the service let them down a bit - our waiter seemed very nervous and untrained - and the people at the table next to us were loud and a bit abrasive. You'd think they'd never seen people taking photos of their tea before.Fig, blue cheese and hazelnuts at The[...]

A belated blogoversary

Sun, 27 Aug 2017 16:24:00 +0000

So... we moved. And it was the utter ball-ache moving always is. With the added tedium that we only got broadband installed on Friday.

Due to the hassle of moving (and the fact we don't have a dishwasher yet) I haven't really been cooking anything fancy. Definitely nothing with multiple stages or processes or utensils required. And because of the lack of interesting cooking and the lack of broadband I completely missed my 10th blogoversary. 10 years! My god.

Anyway, my mate Sharon (who you may remember from posts such as this one. And this one. And this, and this, and this) is married to a man whose parents live near our new house. They have very kindly invited us over for Sunday dinner this evening because they think it would be nice to have some local knowledge. It definitely will!

I offered to bring a dessert - a pretty pointless gesture because Graeme's mum's desserts are legendary for their quality, quantity and diversity. But hey.

I thought I would knock up a quick frangipane mirabelle tart. Which was quite a good idea really, until I discovered that I couldn't find my scales or my silicon spatulas. A bit of guesswork took place and it ended up being a bit oozier and more rustic than planned. Fortunately they all have lovely manners and will be gracious. But I think we'll take a bottle of wine as well...

The Final Countdown

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 17:55:00 +0000

We have a lawn!On Monday we'll be moving into the new house, so while there will be a final flurry of using bits up and whatnot, I really don't think I will be documenting it. So next time I post it'll probably be exploring a new-to-us pub while we try to avoid making the spanking new kitchen dirty.ham hock terrineI am faintly disappointed that things never got completely crazy with the flavour combinations. Although the tub labelled chicken stock which turned out to be blood orange sorbet, and the tub that I thought was chicken stock which turned out to be a rather lovely Asian shortrib soup almost got me into trouble. It was a valuable lesson in accurate labelling.PloughmansThis was a particularly good Ploughmans. Bread (using some of my baguette dough as a starter, and more of the chapatti flour), piccalilli, made by me a while ago, cheddar (because I like it), a ham hock terrine (using a ham hock I'd had in the freezer and some gelatine leaves) and a fresh green salad (finishing a jar of capers).LasagneI wouldn't serve this lasagne to an Italian, but it was tasty! And it used a bottle of ratatouille, a packet of bacon, some minced beef and a packet of "fresh" (but frozen) pasta sheets.And this version of an Eton mess used frozen cranberries, frozen eggwhites and coconut. The tangy fruit was a particularly good foil for the sweet coconut meringues.[...]

Clearing the freezer - we're getting there, honestly

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 09:59:00 +0000

"Baguette" more or lessWell, this is all inordinately stressful. The builders went quiet on us for a couple of weeks as the date we have to vacate this house got closer and closer and we weren't getting any answers as to when we would be able to move in to the new place. We have, finally, more or less got a plan. Not a very good one, but it may actually be workable.charcuterie platterAnd emptying the fridge/freezer/pantry carries on apace. I can't remember if I posted about the 5kg bag of chapatti flour that I bought, mistakenly thinking it was 500g. Anyway, there is still quite a lot of flour in it. I followed my usual King Arthur baguette recipe, but using a mixture of strong white, plain light brown and chapatti flour. It ended up with a tighter crumb than usual, but it was just the thing with a charcuterie plate (which also used up some potted wild boar from the freezer and pickled cherries from the pantry).Teacakes - using up flour, dried cherries and sultanasBasically I am refusing to cook anything at the moment that doesn't clear out a jar, packet or freezer bag.More robust than the bought ones, still good to convey butterPorky stew, using pork jowl, chicken stock and lentilsThai-ish mussel stew using frozen mussels, sambal paste, coconut milk and chicken brothCalamondin iced tea - using lots of frozen calamondinsThis biryani was actually inspired by the book I am reading at the moment - Chasing the Dram. Rachel makes a pretty solid argument for drinking whisky and soda with curry meals and includes Mallika Basu's venison biryani recipe. And it just so happened that I had some venison in the freezer. Not enough, though, but I also had some goat steaks in the freezer, so mine was a mixed goat and venison biryani. Honestly, I couldn't taste any difference between the meats. It was very good - although next time I will cook the rice almost completely before I layer it. There wasn't enough liquid included to cook the rice properly, so I had to add more and the bottom bit ended up a bit mushy.Game biryaniTrifle - using chocolate cake trimmings from the freezer and finishing a bottle of ChambordSort of Chinese claypot affair, using up chicken, Chinese sausage, pudding rice and chestnutsCherry pieUsing the final bag of frozen cherries, the remnants of the bag of dried sour cherries and a jar of cherries in brandy[...]

Clearing the pantry - spiced marmalade cookies

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 16:50:00 +0000

Spiced marmalade cookies - rawAnd so it continues... honestly, it may not seem like it with this endless stream of posts but I am definitely making progress. I am finding that an unfortunate side effect is that some of the dishes I am producing are really, genuinely delicious but because it's the end of a jar of this and the last of a packet of that I will never, ever be able to reproduce it.UFOsThe other night I unearthed two UFOs. Or at least Partially-Identified Frozen Objects. One was labelled lamb, the other mutton. Neither was big enough for a meal for two people. Sure, I could have heated them separately and each of us eaten one, but as they thawed it looked like the mutton was with barley and the lamb was a shank cooked with haricot beans, so I combined them with some tomato paste and extra seasoning. It was good!cassoulet nachosAnother UFO had a label half hanging off it which said cassoulet - I was initially concerned that the label may have fallen off something else, but when I thawed it, it was cassoulet. It didn't stay cassoulet though. When I reheated it I added smoked paprika, coriander, cumin, chilli, oregano and thyme to give it more of a Mexican flavour profile. I layered it with cornchips and cheese, baked it and topped it with guacamole for a very rich nachos.Peanut sauceLast night I made a stonking satay-ish peanut sauce to go on some barbecued chicken legs. The chicken legs were marinaded for a couple of hours in the dregs of a bottle of teriyaki sauce, a lot of crushed garlic and black pepper. Then the sauce itself was around 1/4 cup of anchovy, chilli and shrimp sauce, around 1/3 cup of crunchy peanut butter, 2 sachets of coconut cream, a load of garlic, a little brown sugar and tamarind until the balance was right, boiling water until it all came together and a gentle simmer for a couple of minutes. The meal emptied 3 jars, a box and a bottle AND it tasted wonderful, so I was extremely pleased with it. And there's enough for two lunches - noodles tossed with the peanut sauce and topped with cucumber and a boiled egg.Leftover peanut sauceThe final dish for this round of decluttering used up the end of a jar of marmalade. I'd normally use golden syrup for something like this but the marmalade was good. It makes quite a cake-y sort of cookie. If you like gingerbread, you will probably like these.Spiced Marmalade Cookies (makes 36)125g butter, softened90g brown sugar250g marmalade2tsp ground ginger1/2tsp ground cinnamon1/2tsp ground allspice1 eggyolk75g rolled oats320g SR flour2-3tbs pearl sugarPreheat oven to 160CCream butter, sugar and marmalade together until light and fluffy. Beat in spices, eggyolk and oats, then fold in flour and mix to a smooth-ish dough.Roll dough into walnut sized balls. Dab the tops of the balls into the pearl sugar. Space out well on a baking-parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes until risen and lightly golden brown. Allow to cool on the sheet for a couple of minutes before attempting to transfer to a wire rack to cool.[...]

Continuing the clear out

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 19:54:00 +0000

Project clear the freezer continues. As it will for the next month until we move I am sure!pork scratchingsWhen I was sorting through for all the parcels of poultry bits for my stock (which, by the way, has turned out to be one of the best broths I have ever made) I discovered that I had a lot of pork rind. Not entirely sure why, as I seldom take it off a piece of meat. They turned into some really excellent pork scratchings, seasoned with fennel and smoked paprika. Most of which we gave away to a pork-obsessed friend. But I have to say, a genuinely good pork scratching crumbled on top of a boiled egg on toast is a most superior breakfast and I can't believe all the posh brunch places don't do them.I used up ground almonds, caster sugar and a jar of boozy plums making a very simple cake. It was just a creamed mixture of 2 eggs, 120g butter and 120g sugar with 100g ground almonds and 100g SR flour folded in, then the plums pushed into the batter. 5 minutes before it was properly cooked (about 45 minutes at 180C) I poured the rest of the boozy syrup over it. Very successful! I will have to do something similar with some of the cherry backlog.About once a fortnight I make a vaguely Chinese sort of braised aubergine dish with lots of chilli heat, some pork and whatever greens I have to hand. This time I used up some lup cheong sausage and finished it with a good shake of sesame seeds. Also delicious. And I have a couple more sausages.[...]

Clearing the freezer and pastures new

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 20:03:00 +0000

It has a roof nowThere were definitely times when I wondered if it would ever happen, but we've finally, after 11 years of marriage and several ups and downs, bought a house. We've bought off the plan in a new development in a very pretty town a bit north of London, and in the next month to six weeks we will be moving.I bloody hate moving.We've lived in this house for 9 years, which is about as long as I have lived anywhere, and have accumulated all the possessions that you would imagine a pair of packrats would accumulate over that time.  So the process of sorting through our stuff and figuring out what actually needs to come with us is underway. Part of that process is, of course, clearing out the freezer and pantry.Flapjacks, waiting for another layer of oat mixtureMy cooking is likely to become increasingly eccentric over the next few weeks as I try to run down stocks of things. But this weekend it is relatively sensible. Barbecued pork ribs (with a glaze incorporating a couple of sad apples and the remnants of a jar of jelly), flapjacks (reducing stock of various baking bits) and soup (using up all the odds and ends of poultry wings and giblets in the freezer).Flapjacks ready to eatMy flapjacks are based on this recipe from Sue from Mainly Baking. I kept the amount of butter, sugar and golden syrup the same but used 130g unsweetened dried sour cherries, 200g oats and 40g desiccated coconut. I pressed half the mixture into the tin, scattered with a few chunks of leftover dark chocolate Easter egg and then added the rest of the mixture. Very successful.We've tried barbecuing pork ribs before, but I think these are the most successful so far. I made up a rub of salt, pepper, fennel seeds and smoked paprika and let them sit in that for a couple of hours, then we slowly smoked them for 3 hours before adding the apple puree mixture.While they cooked for another couple of hours the apple dried down to a thick, rich glaze without burning. The racks unfortunately were not the same size - the smaller rack was perfect but the larger could have done with another hour. Of course, they were so good that Paul now wants a rematch, which will necessitate buying more of the ingredients I was trying to see the back of.The leftovers, pulled off the bone and chopped, are providing me with very nice lunches.When I started ferreting in the freezer for poultry bits for making stock, I had no idea quite how much there was. Chicken, cockerel and duck giblets, chicken wing tips, cockerel backs. Loads of stuff. It made a very good broth. And tonight I flavoured some of the broth with lime juice and fish sauce and cooked pork meatballs and some veg in it, then added coriander leaves, chopped chillies, slices onions and more lime juice.[...]

Blacklock City, Foxlow Soho and Bellanger

Sun, 28 May 2017 13:03:00 +0000

Blacklock City pre-chop bitesI'm not deliberately moving the blog towards more reviews, it's just been working out that way. This past week I have eaten out an unprecedented three times. Well, it may not actually be unprecedented but I can't remember the last time I did (while not actually being away from home). And now I am coming to think about the three meals, I think they are quite representative of the way I prefer to eat out in London. Independents or small chains. Not stuffy or fussy, not enormously expensive but good ingredients and generous hospitality.All in. Why not?On Monday I had lunch with Mimi and her lovely baby son at Blacklock City. We originally planned to meet because Mimi was embroiled in an imbroglio, as Wodehouse would have it, over the appropriation of Burmese culture and I'd offered to be moral support in her meeting with the unrepentant appropriator. But then Mimi decided that he wasn't worth the time, so we just had lunch. I'd been to Blacklock Soho for their (exceptionally good) Sunday lunch, but this was the first time I'd been to the new City venue. While the Soho branch on a Sunday is pretty mixed, a chophouse in the City on a weekday might as well have "NO GIRLS" on the door: some of the suited and booted diners looked slightly horrified to see women with a pram.We went "all in" - pre-chop bites, chops piled on grilled flatbread and a couple of sides, for a very reasonable £20 a head. The pre-chop bites, int the same vein as the anchovies I had at Foxlow recently, were Peter's Yard (probably) rye crispbreads topped with salty, delicious toppings. The nicest of the three was topped with egg and anchovy - so good we ordered another round of those in lieu of pudding. The chops (beef sirloin, pork belly and lamb t-bones) were delicious, the chips perfect and the salad just what was needed. A couple of £5 cocktails and extremely friendly staff going above and beyond to accommodate the baby made it just about perfect.   Lenny Henry as a Depression-era gangsterOn Wednesday I had a quick, early dinner back at Foxlow before seeing the excellent Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui at the Donmar. We had a table towards the front of the restaurant, which was a reasonable height so my feet were able to touch the floor comfortably.I almost never order chicken burgers, because the chicken is so often woolly and bland, but with the memory of their delicious fried chicken fresh in my mind I felt confident to have the chicken burger, with an optional kimchi topping. Messy. Very messy. But absolutely delicious. The service was a bit scatty - my friend had specifically asked if there was mayonnaise on the Foxlow burger, had been told no, and then it arrived with a massive load of mayo on it. She complained, and the staff member complained to went to get the staff member who'd taken the original order, who said it wasn't mayonnaise it was KEWPIE MAYONNAISE. And it then took much longer than it should have to bring a replacement, mayo-less bun.Chicken burger with kim chi, fries and cherry tarragon sorbetI decided that I couldn't forego ice cream on a very hot day, so I ordered a scoop of salted caramel ripple and a scoop of cherry and tarragon sorbet, both of which were gorgeous. Then we strolled off to the theatre.Rose weather at BellangerAnd finally on Friday I had dinner at Bellanger before a dance show. Turned out to be a slightly less good idea because the show wasn't at the venue we thought it was at, so we ended up having to hustle to get there in time. But Bellanger is a Corbin and King restaurant, and I love what they do so, so much, so it's never going to be a terrible idea, even if it results in a more expensive Uber. T[...]

Foxlow Soho

Sun, 14 May 2017 15:44:00 +0000

Anchovy and goats butter on rye crispsHawksmoor - either Air St or Seven Dials - is one of my happy places. The food is always good, the staff are always friendly and competent and the atmosphere inviting. You step through the door and take a deep breath because, for a couple of hours, nothing bad can happen. Unfortunately, Hawksmoor is priced to make that particular happy place quite a rare treat. Once a year, if I am lucky. A few years ago, presumably recognising that people want good food, nice staff and a welcoming atmosphere more often than that, the people behind Hawksmoor opened Foxlow, pitched as a "neighbourhood restaurant". The neighbourhoods they started in were Stoke Newington, Clerkenwell and Balham though, none of which are convenient for me to drop in on or particularly enticing as a destination in themselves. The new Soho branch, however, is very convenient for getting home from.Shaky Pete's Ginger Brew - the head is deliberateThe soft launch was this week, with a very appealing 50% off food, and I managed to be quick enough on the booking button to get a table for last night. I started with one of Hawksmoor's most famous drinks, Shaky Pete's ginger brew - a fabulous take on a shandy and the best possible use for London Pride. Paul had a beer, but he was very impressed when I gave him a sip of my drink.Five pepper squidI knew I wanted fried chicken as a main course - I've been having a craving lately - so chose the lightest possible option for my starter. It was 3 little (almost certainly Peter's Yard) rye crispbreads, topped with whipped goats butter, plump curled anchovies and rings of crunchy red onion. Perfect appetite-whetting mouthfuls, with enough salt to make the ginger brew sing. Paul had five pepper squid. Which was nicely crisp but slightly underpowered for something claiming five peppers. The devilled mayo could have had a little more tang as well. But it's always nice to see tentacles on the plate as well as calamari rings.We'd ordered a bottle of pinot noir (the wine list is very reasonably priced) to go with our mains. They didn't have it, and in what may be a world first for wine waiters, they suggested an alternative that was actually cheaper than our original selection. I was a little surprised by the assertion that the flavours in the suggested Chilean carmenere were similar, because the carmeneres I have had in the past were pretty big, fruity wines with a bit of smoke, whereas the pinot noir we were anticipating was a lighter, more refined affair. As it happened, the recommendation was absolutely on the money: a much lighter bodied and very drinkable wine.Rib eye with green saladEver since he first had a kimchi burger at Hawksmoor Seven Dials, years and years ago, Paul's been devoted to them, so I was slightly surprised that he pulled himself away from the Foxlow burger, with an optional kimchi topping, opting for a rib eye steak with peppercorn sauce and a green salad. The steak was excellent. Perfectly cooked, perfectly seasoned and a very nice piece of meat (as you'd expect from them, really). Also, as you'd expect from the team that brought you the best salad in the world, the green salad wasn't just a garnish, but a properly dressed assembly of leaves. The boy a couple of tables down wasn't having such a positive experience, holding forth loudly about how the flat iron he'd ordered wasn't a flat iron. Not that he said anything to the waitress when she checked on him.Fried chickenMy longed-for fried chicken absolutely nailed the craving. I had a slight language barrier with the waitress though - they offer 2 or 4 piece portions, and I'd asked if a piece was a joint like a drumst[...]

Bank holiday barbecue

Mon, 01 May 2017 14:23:00 +0000

allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />
It's a bank holiday weekend, and unfortunately it has played into the British bank holiday stereotype of shit weather. We haven't had much in the way of rain for weeks, but it's been threatening all weekend and just been unpleasant to be outside in.
Pulled harissa lamb
We could've made plans to do something indoors, but we haven't, despite actually getting as far as looking at cinema screentimes. So I have been reading and Paul's been whacking aliens on the computer and the cat has been patrolling the lawn in between lengthy naps.

On Saturday, though, we did a nice, long, low & slow barbecue. A shoulder of British lamb, seasoned with salt, pepper and cumin, smoked gently for 5 hours, then wrapped in harissa paste and vegetable broth and cooked for another 2 hours before resting for an hour. We had it piled onto bread flavoured with dukkah, hummus laden with wild garlic leaves and grilled courgettes in a preserved lemon and coriander dressing. It tasted perfectly springlike even if the weather felt very much like late winter.

Picture restaurant and thoughts on blogging

Sat, 22 Apr 2017 10:25:00 +0000

MenuFor Christmas, Paul gave me a day-long silver jewellery making course. Which I thoroughly enjoyed. One thing that startled me, though, was that when we were introducing ourselves at the beginning of the course, a couple of the other participants announced that they were doing this (absolute beginners) course because they intended to make a career out of it. Without any real background in jewellery making or knowing whether they had any aptitude they were determined that this was going to be their thing. On the one hand I admired the confidence, but on the other that just seems bonkers to me.Warm sourdough rolls and whipped butterAnd I have to say that I am feeling much the same way about food blogging these days. Back lo, these many years ago, when I started blogging, it mostly seemed to be people who liked food or liked writing or both, using a free platform with a shitty layout and rubbish photos. And enjoying it. We made friends with people with similar interests, spent time commenting on other people's posts and took our time over things.Delicious basil martiniNow it seems like a lot of people have decided that there is money to be made and they decide they are going to be Food Bloggers. They come in with professional-looking headshots in their profiles, a business plan, a brand identity and an SEO strategy. They have media kits. They have business cards. They hustle. It's a valid approach, but it's not my approach and it does make me a bit wistful for the days when we made friendships, not networking opportunities. I deeply admire, though, the people who started around when I did who have actually been able to cope with change and adapt to the new environment.Beef bitesThe whole landscape is different. I've stopped accepting PR invitations and removed myself from a couple of databases, because if you want a blog to promote your thing I'm really not your girl. I don't care about my reach. I don't know how many, if any, readers I have. I seldom bother cross promoting my blog posts on other channels (I will put them on the Foodycat facebook page but I won't pay to boost posts, so not a lot of people will see that). I'd rather leave that stuff to the people who are passionate about making their blogs pay.Asparagus, pea and wild garlic velouteIt also occurred to me this week, that while there are products that I have continued to buy and use after initially being sent them to review, there's only one restaurant that I have been to for a blogger event that I have subsequently been back to on my own dime. Since I don't have a lot to offer a restaurant in terms of generating buzz, the point of me really is going to a place, being inoffensive to staff and paying for my dinner - so I have a pretty terrible track record.Beetroot tartare, goats curdI first went to Picture, on Great Portland St, with a bunch of bloggers in 2014. And then again less than a week later. Then somehow I hadn't managed to go back. I knew they'd opened a second restaurant in Marylebone, but I'd never made it to that one either.Pork, pickled carrots, granny smith appleThis week, though, I was looking for a venue for a dinner with a friend (same friend I'd had lunch with at Picture before, as it happens) and Great Portland St ticked the boxes for her to get to Waterloo or Vauxhall and me to get to Baker St or Marylebone after. I'd assumed we'd go a la carte - didn't think I could stretch to the £45 6 course Spring menu (still very reasonable, but once you add drinks and service charge that's probably £65. Not on a Wednesday). But then when I booked I discovered they were doing a Taste on Lond[...]

Easter Weekend

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 10:32:00 +0000

We're on the last day of the blissful 4 day Easter bank holiday weekend. I love this weekend. It's spring, so there are lots of flowers blossoming and a sense of promise and excitement, but at the same time there's no real pressure to do anything.saffronMy cooking for the weekend made respectful nods to a variety of traditions without being absolutely traditional.Saffron, sour cherry and pistachio bunsSaffron crocuses are an autumn crocus, but at the same time crocuses are such a sign of spring that it felt right and proper to flavour some sweet buns with saffron. The dough was studded with sour cherries, then rolled around a pistachio and cinnamon filling and finished after baking with a hot, tangy lemon glaze. They didn't feel a million miles from a hot cross bun, but also reminiscent of baklava. Just the thing for the luxury of lingering over coffee on a long weekend.I also made a savoury pie. Sort of nodding to some of the Mediterranean ones. This was filled with ricotta, feta, watercress, chard and wild garlic, with eggs cracked on top of the filling to bake under the crust. I should have blind-baked the base - the bottom was a bit soggy - but the flavours were excellent.On Saturday we went for a walk from Latimer through the Chess Valley. About half way along there is a watercress farm (the last working watercress farm in the Chilterns), with a farm stall and honesty box. The farmer had just brought out a fresh batch of watercress so we grabbed a bag.Watercress farmThat watercress formed the base of our salad on Saturday night (with a beautiful Galician bone-in sirloin steak). And left enough for a second salad on Sunday - with radishes and British asparagus (asparagus season, hurrah!). Which was all we needed to accompany a boned leg of suckling pig, rolled around a wild garlic and fennel paste, and barbecued for 6 hours until the meat was jelly-soft and the skin crisp as glass. The leftover pork will form our lunch in an hour or so, but I haven't quite decided how. There's plenty of time to think.[...]

Temper, London

Sun, 12 Feb 2017 12:00:00 +0000

Temper. Fuck yes. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

Pear and blue cheese crostini

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 15:38:00 +0000

There isn't a lot that I can recommend about Paul being away. I like having him around. Urchin likes having him around. But one food thing I really quite like and he really doesn't is fruit in savoury stuff. I have been taking advantage of his absence to indulge.

This was my lunch today - toast rubbed with garlic, smeared with a soft blue cheese, then topped with pears poached in red wine, caramelised walnuts and balsamic pearls. And very nice it was too.

Fig, bresaola and burrata

Sun, 08 Jan 2017 17:03:00 +0000

Paul's in South Africa for a couple of weeks spending time with his mother and brother while I hold the fort here. And the fort needs quite a lot of holding - Miss Urchin is not at all amused by his abandonment and for the two days he's been gone she's been extremely demanding and not very interested in letting me sleep.

I remembered that the last time he was away for a while she was similarly demanding, and didn't understand why I felt the need to cook when I got home from work, rather than dedicating my time to entertaining her. So mostly while Paul's away I am planning to eat very fast, low effort meals.

This was pretty fast and low effort, but still really rich and indulgent for a Sunday lunch. If you find burrata too rich for words, a fresh buffalo mozzarella or even a creamy young goats cheese would also be nice.

Fig, bresaola and burrata (serves 1 as a main course)

50g hazelnuts, blanched
1 small bunch basil
1 small garlic clove
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
4 slices bresaola (or proscuitto or serrano ham)
4 figs
1 x 100g burrata
extra balsamic

Roast the hazelnuts in a 160C oven until nicely browned and tip the hot nuts into a mini processor.

Turn up the heat to 180, halve the figs and put them on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes.

Add the basil, garlic, mustard, olive oil and balsamic to the mini processor and pulse to a rubble.

Arrange the bresaola and burrata on a plate, tip the hazelnut rubble onto the plate and add the hot figs. Drizzle with a little extra balsamic. A glass of fino sherry would be particularly nice with this, but I didn't happen to have one.

Peanut butter chocolate birthday cake

Sun, 11 Dec 2016 20:51:00 +0000

I hadn't been asked to make a birthday cake for my young friend The Hurricane since 2012. I had assumed that her growing sophistication meant she was well and truly too grown up for my extremely rudimentary decorating skills.However, this year she asked if I would. Of course I said yes. We brainstormed over drinks (prosecco for me, water for her). Chocolate was a given. I offered ideas for additional flavourings and she scorned all thoughts of raspberries or apricots but decided that peanut butter and caramel would be good.Peanut butter buttercream swirled with caramelIt was always going to be the Be-Ro Milk Chocolate Cake. It's obedient, reliable, sturdy enough to slice and decorate and not overwhelmingly chocolatey. The Hurricane may be an unbearably grownup a-couple-of-days-from 12 year old, but she still doesn't like too much intense chocolate.The rest was assembly really. The layers were sandwiched with Perfect Peanut Buttercream (astonishingly good. I used a smooth, organic peanut butter with salt but no added sugar), swirled through with some Carnation Caramel, then covered with more of the buttercream. I'd thought about putting some chopped peanut brittle in with the layers, but I thought The Hurricane's parents and orthodontist wouldn't thank me at all if I buggered her braces two weeks before Christmas.Chocolate mirror glazeThen I topped it with John Whaite's chocolate mirror glaze. I got the consistency a bit wrong with this one - I cooled it so it wouldn't melt off the butter cream but then it was too thick to flow easily. I liked the result of the dribbles showing the underlying buttercream though, so let's call it deliberate. It does have a gorgeously shiny finish though, and a rich chocolate flavour.The final decoration was a bunch of gold sugar stars, white and dark chocolate stars printed with gold stars, and gold star sprinkles. Simple, but effective. When I delivered it, she was pretty darn pleased. I did have to issue a warning that the glaze would show if she attempted to eat any of the chocolate stars off it.I asked them to send me a picture of the cross section - the lairs (as Mary Berry says) have held their definition very well. And they ate an impressive amount! [...]

Peach pecan upside down cake

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 13:31:00 +0000

"BUT HOW", I hear my regular readers shriek, "BUT HOW DARE SHE MAKE A PEACH CAKE IN NOVEMBER!?!?"Well yes. At first glance you would think that I have abandoned my seasonal principles. HOWEVER, this cake was made with lovely fresh peaches that I peeled, quartered and froze in summer, when they were sublime. For the last couple of months they have been staring at me every time I opened the freezer drawer, daring me to do something with them and I finally decided what. A nutty sponge cake, given extra lightness and lift with buttermilk, baked on top of the thawed peaches.I intended to pour a layer of buttery caramel over the bottom of the tins before putting the peaches on, but when I thawed the peaches I was left with about 150ml of the most superbly clear, intense peach essence, so I boiled it with sugar and was left with a lovely peach jelly, which really boosted the peachiness of the flavour. You can go the caramel route, or use peach jam.Peach & pecan upside down cake (makes 2 x 20cm cakes but very easily halveable if you don't want two)150g butter 250g golden caster sugar2 large eggs250g wholemeal self raising flour¼ tsp baking powder pinch of salt ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg1 tsp vanilla extract 150ml-ish buttermilk 100g pecan nuts, chunkily chopped100g sugar, extra & 25g butter, extra OR 100g good quality peach jam4 peaches, peeled and cut into quartersBourbon or Southern Comfort to serve - optionalPreheat oven to 160C. Line 2 20cm sandwich tins with tin liners (it's oozy - you really do need to use either an old-school solid tin and grease it really well or use tin liners if you only have springform or loose-based tins)Line the base of the tins with peach jam or caramel (made with the 100g sugar, a splash of water and the butter). Arrange the quartered peaches on top of it.Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs, one at a time. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Fold the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk. It may need a little more buttermilk - you don't want a stiff batter, but you don't want it runny, either. Fold in the vanilla and pecan nuts.Divide the batter between the two tins and bake for 50 minutes- 1 hr or until well risen and browned. The skewer test might give a false reading because of the gooey bottom.Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out. Serve warm as a dessert (flamed with bourbon and served with brown butter pecan ice cream is particularly fab), or cool completely to serve with tea.It'll keep for 2-3 days in the fridge, and even once it's started to get a bit stale, a zap in the microwave with a splash of bourbon or Southern Comfort on it will perk it right up. Which is what my colleague and I did at work last Wednesday when we were in utter despair over the US election results.[...]

Happy Halloween!

Tue, 01 Nov 2016 07:34:00 +0000

2016 cat pumpkin
 Yes, Halloween was last night. For the first time we actually laid in a supply of fun size Mars Bars in case of trick-or-treaters... only to have Paul panic in the face of human interaction and tell the only ones who knocked that we didn't have anything.

We also had a suitably autumnal dinner of pheasant cooked with cider and apples. It was very tasty, a Diana Henry recipe, but it looked extremely unappetising (I skinned the pheasant so that was all pale and the apples fell apart so it was a very gloopy beige plate). So instead, I present you with our dinner from Saturday night. Really simple venison nachos. Also nicely seasonal, and I think it'd make good party food, although we just had the plate between us on the sofa while we caught up on Graham Norton on iplayer.