sweetcorn and parmesan fritters

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i just watched my mum knock up a couple of these fritters and thought i’d share as they were bloody great.

you will need:

1 egg
4 tbsp flour
150ml milk
tin of sweetcorn
2 courgettes
handful of chopped fresh parsley
grated parmesan
salt
pepper

what to do:

1. grate the courgette and mix together in a bowl with the sweetcorn, parmesan and parsley
2. make a batter with the flour, egg, milk and season
3. mix everything in a bowl
4. fry a little vegetable oil in a pan, cook on both sides until golden

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mahalo bitches!

homemade pizza.

the other day i decided to try out this pizza recipe from the londoner. it was delicious and i will definitely be making it again. i think this is a good option for when you have to cook for annoying vegetarians because they can just pick their own toppings and be quiet.

the only changes i made were that i added my home grown dried chilli flakes and pimento peppers to the sauce.

this is how mine turned out…

burger and lobster.

on friday night i went to a restaurant i’ve wanted to go to for ages. it’s called burger and lobster and it’s on dean st in soho (there is also one in mayfair). i really liked the setting, there are red leather booths and there were lots of people wearing lobster bibs. we arrived at ab0ut 6.30pm and got a table straight away.

once seated the friendly waitress gave us a drinks menu and told us we had a choice of 3 things to order.

burger (with cheese and bacon)
lobster
lobster roll

all 3 options were £20 and came with fries and a salad. me and my friend decided to get a burger and a lobster to share. it was a good decision. the lobster was meaty and delicious and came with a dream boat of herb and garlic butter. it was bloody massive too. the burger was pretty huge, too big to put in your mouth. my friend ate hers with a knife and fork like a princess. it was a good burger, but i have had better.

here is my friend and the burger so you can see how big it is next to a human

when we left at approx 8pm there was a queue forming and the bar was busy with people getting drunk whilst they waited to be seated.

in summary it’s good for the novelty of wearing a bib. i wouldn’t recommend going there if you don’t like lobster because you’ll end up paying £20 for a burger and i believe there are better and cheaper burgers to be had in london (like byron and meatliquor). if you want to eat a whole lobster then definitely go there.

i’ve also heard from loads of people (3 people) that the lobster roll is amazing, so i might go back for that one day.

bratwurst.

i had my first ever schnitzel today. i’m not sure if this is true because a schnitzel is just a bit of flat meat in some breadcrumbs. i still don’t know if it was chicken or pork. please don’t ask me the difference between a schnitzel and an escalope as i won’t be able to tell you the answer.

bratwurst is on berwick st in soho and specialises in german sausages. it’s not very german inside, it’s more like an american diner for children.

i decided to get the schnitzel, mash potato and hunter sauce which cost £6.95. i’ll start with the best part – the mash. it was creamy and smooth and better than nando’s mash but probably not as good as mother mash, but i haven’t been there for ages so i can’t really remember.

the unknown meat was probably as big as the hand span of a big man. quite big.  however it was quite tough to cut and a bit tasteless.

the third component of my lunch was the hunter sauce (gravy with mushrooms and onions). on paper it sounded great… in my mouth it upset me. it was ok, it just had a really weird flavour that i couldn’t quite put my finger on.

when we got back to the office some of the boys were jealous of our paper bratwurst bags so they decided to go there too. the boys all ordered different combinations of sausage and here is what they had to say:

“beef bratwurst. it was awesome. good mustard.” RD

“i was left feeling ashamed and lazy. the meal i chose (double curry bratwurst with brotchen roll) consisted of little more than chopped up sausage, a mix of ketchup & curry powder, and a bread roll. i could have concocted this at home last night and brought the leftovers into work today for much less money and with a slightly higher quality of sausage. next time i go out for lunch, i will be selecting a much more elaborate meal – something that is not easily brought to work in the form of leftovers” AH

“i chose the double currywurst, and though i cannot comment on the quality of the mustard (i didn’t have any) it was a tasty and surprisingly light lunch. as an erstwhile aficionado of bratwust i lament my decision to omit the creamy mash from my selection. for £4.95 i have no complaints, and a pleasant after-taste of curry sauce.” MR

“felt like i was finally getting some good ol’ fashioned german lebensmittel in a country filled with pies, curry and asian food… i was excited at first, but a little let down when i realised i was eating out of a styrofoam box that was delivered to me before i could even type my pin into the card machine.” RW

“i had the double currywurst, the quality of curry sauce was trounced by the quality of the mustard. recommend you go with only mustard and ignore the appeal of curry sauce on the menu. bread was good.” SA

so in summary the mustard and bread rolls were the shining stars of the place that prides itself on its gourmet german sausages. i will probably go back to bratwurst because i like the taste of disappointment.

auf wiedersehen!

mac n cheese.

a couple of weekends ago i had a hideous hangover and the only thing i wanted in the world was macaroni cheese and for someone to tell me it was going to be ok. i spent all day gathering my strength to go and buy a ready made mac n cheese from sainsbury’s and by the time i got home i was so drained from the experience i didn’t want it. i had that for lunch at work and it was ok, but i felt like the time had come to make my own.

luckily on sunday i wasn’t hungover at all and so i decided to make this for my friends. it was so good i’ve been telling people about it all week. also if you put it on a bed of spinach with some tomatoes it makes it look 4% healthier.

this is what you will need to make it:

(this serves 4 people)

300g macaroni

40g butter

40g plain flour

1 pint of milk

250g cheddar

50g red leicester

50g parmesan

tomatoes

spinach

this is what you need to do:

1. boil a pan of water and cook your macaroni whilst you prepare the sauce

2. melt the butter in a saucepan and then pour in the flour and mix together

3. heat the milk in the microwave to take the edge off (and to stop it from making the sauce lumpy) then gradually pour into the saucepan with the butter and flour. mix this really well and keep mixing it

4. leave to cook for about 10 mins. keep stirring this so that it forms a lovely thick smooth sauce

5. add the grated cheddar and red leicester and mix into the sauce

6. add the drained macaroni and mix loads

7. place the pasta in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the parmesan

8. chuck this under the grill until it’s nice and golden and serve with your token salad ingredients

the cube.

on friday i was extremely lucky to be invited to the cube by electrolux. if you’ve not yet heard about the cube, it’s the pop-up restaurant which will be on top of the royal festival hall for the next four months. every few weeks, a different michelin star chef will cook a 5 course meal for its 18 guests.

as a fan of the great british menu i was really excited to find out daniel clifford would be the chef cooking for us. i had already planned to tell him that his fryers breaking at the banquet had given me a mini break down. the layout of the cube meant that you were able to watch the chef cook all his dishes, and he welcomed us to come up and ask questions. i mostly just stood and got in his way.

i was allowed to bring a guest and we both felt a bit apprehensive before we arrived. the thought of sitting at a table with 16 strangers was a bit daunting, but luckily everyone we met was really friendly and after a glass or two of champagne i felt very relaxed (drunk).

0nce we had taken in the amazing views and posed for photos on the balcony we sat down to enjoy the first daniel clifford delight, a bloody mary. one my food highlights of the night.

before we ate each course daniel took us through all of the ingredients he had used to create the dish, and told us how we could re-create them at home. next up was a crispy hen’s egg wrapped in fried potato, griddled asparagus and an asparagus velouté (or a velvety sauce to you and me). my favourite part of this was the burnt onion (the black powder) which daniel said you could recreate by simply burning an onion until it will burn no more – this produces a sweet powder and accompanied the rest of the dish perfectly.

you know how i feel about poached eggs so this was like a dream for me.

next on the menu was sauteed scallops with apple jelly, shavings of truffle and celeriac. the scallops were huge, the biggest i’ve ever seen and i watched in awe as they were cooked. daniel also told us how the apples used in this dish were grown from the tree in his garden.

after the scallops we had roast quail, summer peas, sauteed girolles and wild garlic oil. i don’t think i’ve had quail many times in my life and i can’t imagine having anything ever again that would compete with this.

next up was my joint favourite with the bloody mary – a slow roast rump of lamb, courgette, tomato, basil and olde york cheese (which was a bit like feta but nicer). my friend doesn’t really like lamb but this won him over, he pretty much inhaled it which was a bit embarrassing.

for pudding we had caramelised pineapple, pineapple sorbet with an amazing pineapple candy floss, which i think could be the best candy floss in the world. it was funny watching daniel clifford’s girlfriend (who was sat opposite us) politely eat this even though she had openly said that she absolutely hates pineapple.

when i got home i was so excited it took me ages to get to sleep because i couldn’t stop thinking about how good it had been. this might have been because of the coffee but i’m pretty sure it was just because i’d had such a lovely time. thank you to electrolux for having me :)

verdict – you can book online here

bucci in balham.

last week i went for dinner at a little italian restaurant in balham, which i think might become my new local fave. a few times i have walked past bucci and it’s been heaving with people stuffing their faces, whilst the rest of the restaurants along the high st have been no way near as busy.

there are a few reasons why i liked bucci so much

  • the first is because the restaurant was really old school and made me feel like tony soprano. the italian man that owns it remembered my friends from their previous visit and greeted them with kisses, which is always nice. he even chased my friend down the road when she forgot her umbrella. what a guy
  • the second is because even though i hate limoncello, i appreciated the shot i was forced to drink as we paid the bill
  • the third is because i had the most amazing seafood linguine, all for a poxy £8.90

if you have ever seen the episode of gavin and stacey at the italian, this is what it reminded me of. i struggled to make a decision but i was recommended the seafood linguine. i was really happy with my choice. as you can see this massive portion of pasta was served with clams, big fat king prawns and calamari in a garlic and tomato sauce. my friend said that last time it had salmon and mussels too.

if you’re looking for a friendly, cheap and tasty dinner then you should go here. it’s really close to balham tube too. you should prob book at the weekend as i imagine it’s hard to get a table. they also do takeaway pizza which is meant to be cracking.