Monthly Archives: November 2014

A Lovely Day Off: 13th Nov 2014

Today I have hd a lovely day off in London with a great friend. A proper catch up- and there was a lot to catch up on- and some real yumminess.

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After a catch up coffee at St Pancras we headed to The Grain Store, behind Kings Cross. The Grain Store is Bruno Loubet’s restaurant and I loved it. It was really funny in the morning as Colin had looked at the menu and was very pleased he was not my lunch companion!!! But the menu was amazing and it took us ages to decide what to have.

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For starters we had:
Me- celeriac and hay mouse tart with truffle
L- wild mushroom croquettes
Both gorgeous, mine was light, delicate and delicious, whereas the mini croquettes were so full of flavour and presented so attractively.
For main we had:
Me- squid au poivre with pumpkin puree and confit garlic
L- butternut squash ravioli with mustard apricots

I also had a drink of quince Bellini which I am now going to dedicate the winter to perfecting! So yum.

A mini shopping trip followed which resulted in a couple of lovely purchases from my favourite shop Anthropologie. No Christmas party dress though……

When I got home I found a hungry husband……. so I whipped up a little aubergine, red pepper and chickpea curry which was also massively yummy. Yippeeeeeee for happy tums!

More Weekend 1/2nd November 2014

Well what a yummy food weekend we have had!
Last night we went to Skylon for dinner.

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Skylon is in the Southbank Centre and we chose it because we were going to listen to Mahler’s 2nd afterwards. It had mixed reviews online- not because of the food but because of slow service- but we could not have had better service on the night.
The photos have not come out well (I was probably a bit too shy…) but this is what we had:
Colin: wild mushroom soup with mushroom brioche, followed by halibut with celeriac puree and red wine jus
Jo: scallops on cauliflower puree with hazelnuts, followed by a truffle macaroni cheese with a spinach salad
Massively lovely, gorgeous wine and an unbelievably gorgeous setting.
And the symphony was really great I am please to say!!!

Today we had my in-laws (The P’s!) over for lunch. We broke the news of our attempt at a non-meat life, which went down well I’m pleased to day. For lunch I made a squash, sweet potato and yellow pepper soup with some lovely cheeses- comte, cheddar and stichelton.

After a hot bath and a little snooze dinner was calling…… and what a lovely dinner it has been!

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This is a kind of fish stew, based on a Rick Stein recipe. The broth was lovely and spicy with heat from Harissa. The fish was really delicate, and the spring onion makes a great contrast texture wise. Here’s the recipe:

Red Mullet Stew

1 onion, sliced
1 stick celery, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
pinch saffron strands
1 tbsp Harissa spices (or a Harissa paste)
1l water
250g small waxy potatoes, cut into 2 or 4 depending on the size
2 red mullet fillets, cut in half
6 spring onions, cut on the diagonal
couple of sprigs of parsley

Рsaut̩ the onion, celery and carrot with some salt in olive oil for 5mins.
– add the tomatoes, puree, water, saffron and Harissa, bring to the boil and simmer for 45 mins.
– pass the sauce through a sieve to remove all the bits and pieces.
put the sieved sauce back into the pan and add the potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, but still have a little bite in them.
– season the mullet and massage a little olive oil into them. Fry in a non stick pan until crispy on the skin side (about 5 mins) and a little on the flesh side (2 mins).
– serve in a bowl: put a couple of spoons of potatoes and sauce into the bowl. Add the fish fillets and top with spring onions and parsley.

It was really tasty and Colin declared we could have it again!!! However… if I were to make it again I would add some white wine or a little sherry to the veg at the beginning when making the stock. Then I would add the tomatoes. It would add another dimension, and some welcome acidity I believe. But certainly lovely, and a good way to end a lovely anniversary weekend xxx

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