Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sticky beef ribs *drool*

Reports from London will be heading your way shortly, as soon as I find the right cable to connect phone to PC! In the meantime I've not been slacking........having taken delivery of my Jamie's America book it was time to try out the BBQ beef ribs.
Simply get a huge hunk of meat from your friendly butcher. I used beef short ribs (they are dirt cheap yippee), covered them in a mix of chilli powder/mustard/black pepper/oil/salt then cooked them at 140degrees for about 4 hours. They should fall apart pretty easily after that. Then mix your marinade, into saucepan goes honey/brown sugar/butter/beef stock cube/a splash of water, heat that lot up then pour over the meat. Give it a good massage while you're at it! Jamie's recipe says to return it to the oven for 45min, but I just gave it a short 15 mins.
JO also said to cook it uncovered the whole time, but I think you'd get a better result if you covered your roasting tray in tinfoil. We had it with coleslaw and jacket potatoes. Nice!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bread Making - Bertinet method and Lebanese flatbread

So we're back from London, I'm sad because we had such a great time and really treated ourselves to loads of gorgeous meals. Now it's back to the grindstone!

In her Bread Making class last week Liz recommended Andrew Whitely's 'Bread Matters' as essential reading so I got a copy from the library last week. The combination of better knowledge of what exactly goes into a commercial loaf plus Liz's tuition making it look so easy has made me more motivated to make bread for home.

Luckily for me Stokesy Jnr and Snr got rained off at work so I had an assistant in the shape of Stokesy Snr. First we made a 500g batch of 1:1 white:wholemeal using the Bertinet method. Then we had a go at lamajun, a lebanese flatbread I had seen in the Ballymaloe cookbook awhile ago and had been lingering on my must-do list. I'm sure you all have a must-cook list on your kitchen wall?? Oh just me then. Once I've got my new magazines/books in I run through all the cookery literature I own and pick out loads of new things to make over the month. What a thrilling life I lead!
The flat bread was simple: 275g white flour, 225g natural yoghurt mixed together to form a soft dough. I added a little extra water as ours was too dry. Portion into 50g chunks, then roll each chunk out til about 10cm across, you'll need plenty of flour on your worktop. Then dry fry your flatbreads on both sides in a preheated frying pan.

Once then are golden on each side you add this lovely topping: 1tsp thyme leaves, 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, 1/2tsp sea salt, 2 tbsp olive oil. Mix the topping in a little bowl then use a pastry brush to brush over each flatbread. We dunked ours in hoummous but all agreed that it would be nice Italian style with garlic butter and tomato sauce. YUM!
Stokesy Snr just called back round to shape the loaves with me, I'm just waiting for them to prove for the 2nd time......hang on.....they're in the oven now. Woohooo! Lovely bread in 20-ish minutes :o) There they are up at the top of this post

Sunday brunch @ The Tapa Room

This was meant to be Sunday brunch at Lantana, but when we got there it was shut...boohooo. So we headed over to Marylebone High Street and The Tapa Room which I had seen recommended on the Time Out website. We had to queue for 25 mins just to get a seat. My brother having the perfect timing, arriving as we sat down! Hmmmm.....but would it be worth the wait?

Apologies for the single (and quite frankly rubbish) picture. We were starving and I totally forgot, by which time we had all shared out our dishes. You can even see my brother's fork diving in for more....get back!

A quick look at the menu indicated that this would be a very very very good brunch. Loads of Aussie-style dishes, man those Aussies can dish out a killer brunch! Since my return I have learnt that the head honcho there is a guy called Peter Gordon (he's Kiwi...sorry!) and he had an article in the December 09 issue of delicious magazine. So there you go.

We had......Paprika roast potato, sweet potato, caramelised onion, feta, and edamame tortilla with salsa rossa, Greek yoghurt and greens
Sweetcorn and blueberry fritters with avocado, tomato and rocket salad
Hot-smoked salmon, two poached eggs and spinach on walnut toast with yuzu hollandaise

Accompanied by cake, smoothies, hot chocolate and a very strong Bloody Mary.....YUM!

This place tied with No.10 as our best find of the weekend........a return journey will definitely be scheduled. Their lunch menu looks amazing too :o)

Saturday night @ Mesam

After stuffing ourselves at lunchtime it was time for something a bit lighter Saturday night. Meeting up with my brother and his friend at a little Iranian joint on Warwick Rd, which was handily only 1/2 mile from where we were staying. However......I totally messed up the directions. leading to an unexpected. 45 minute pre-dinner stroll. Stokesy HATES walking so I was in the bad books by the time we got there.

Dinner was flatbread, herbs, yoghurty/shallot stuff, hoummous and kebabs

Friday night @ No. 10

Errm not quite No. 10 Downing Street but a really good Schezuan restaurant called No. 10, down an alley opposite Earls Court tube station. Stokesy and I came straight from the airport to meet Kerry, Brett and my brother, Andrew.
The food was soooo good. We had a load of stuff to share including.....Dim sum - Prawn Ha Kow and Pork Siu Mai.....Steamed sea bass with chrysanthemum.....Green beans with crispy pork (above)......Aubergine something nice (top pic)....Chives with egg.......Crispy duck with veg. It should be noted that all of this came with copious amounts of chilli.....oh and it was a really good value meal. All that food, plus a couple of other dishes and a few beers came to £100 for 5 including service. Bargain!

Great start to the weekend. Oh and it was nice to see Kerry/Brett/Andrew........hahaha

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Off to Da Big Smoke

Yes me and stokesy and heading to the not Douglas.......London! Wahooo!

Food related plans have obviously been made :o)

These include lunch at Moro......I love love love their recipe book......I'm so excited about going....have checked out their menu online. Ooh go on....have a look. I reckon I'll have Grilled aubergine and yoghurt salad with crispy lamb and chilli butter.......followed by.....Wood roasted pork with patatas pobres and churrasco sauce....YUM!

Have booked dinner at Maze......hey did you see it on Masterchef last night?........looking forward to it even more now.....hmmm what do I fancy here?? homage to my Scottish roots......Cornish canon of lamb with confit shoulder, spiced turnip fondant, Granny Smith purée and haggis sauce.....oh and all of the desserts :o)

I want to make to a few other places too.........Ottolenghi for their amazing salads.........Primrose Bakery + Hummingbird Bakery for big cake!!!..........I also hope to find somewhere with nice caiprinhias :o)

2010 timetable and catering menus...wahoooooo!

Well here's the moment you've all been waiting for....okay maybe not quite on the edge of your seats.......hanky at the ready X Factor Final...but not far off! It's the......da da da da da daaaaaaa......2010 cookery class timetable. Here are the classes timetabled so far: Midweek Meal Masterclass II, Gujurathi Cooking II, Oriental Delight, Vegetarian Cooking, Bread Making. Full class details can be found here. All classes are £75 and gift vouchers are available. Hey what a great Christmas present :o)

Next 'momentous' bit of news is that the Autumn/Winter catering menus are now available. Like the sound of Garlic Butter Popcorn? Fennel Crusted Pork Belly? Apple and Champagne Icecream? Just a few of the delicious new dishes on the menu. Relish specialises is catering for Weddings - Private Parties - Corporate Events. So give us a call and we'll provide delicious food for your event, large or small.

I'll leave you alone now to recover from the excitement,
Kathryn @ Relish

Relish - Cookery School and Outside Catering

W: T: 07624 464271 B:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bread Day @ Relish

A new class at the cookery school......yippee! Sunday was Bread Making Day with Liz from artisan bakery The Good Loaf. Our participants were: Angela and sister Jan, Marie and son Robbie, plus Andrea and Michelle.

The day began with two different methods for making a basic white loaf 1. The traditional British knead and fold 2. The noisy French twist and slap!

Next up: a simple 'no knead' foccacia topped with tomatoes and basil. Perfect for a party buffet!
After coffee break we discussed the essential bits of kit while making scones. Robbie has a dairy allergy so substituted the butter/milk and still got a great result.
Then it was time for my favourite bit. Shaping the dough. Liz showed us a huge variety from 1 simple white bread mix, let's hope I can remember them all: Baguette, Epi (a baguette variation, shown below), Simple Loaf, Twisted Breadsticks, Breadshots, Fougasse and Rolls
If you fancy a go, Liz is booked for a return visit on May 23rd 2010.....give me a call (07624 453324) or email to book a place

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Food & Drink Festival 09

Oooh ooh ooh that's me! Supervising some big Hairy Biker bloke dealing with some squid.

Can I give my excuses for the non-posting now??? Well I was super-busy doing the 1st Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival. I was hosting the Food Live Theatre which saw demos from The Hairy Bikers, the I Love Manxchef finals, plus loads of demos including Tim Croft, Tanraogan, ISle of Man College, Butlers Choice plus booze from Okells, Bushys and The Shore.

The event was a massive success, I think they got 8000 people through the door. The demos were certainly packed hopefully the event will run again next year...wahooo!

France - sugar work

I haven't previously been too keen on sugar work after burning several pans, welding spoons to the worktop and covering the floor with caramel strands. But we conquer our fears and work through our weaknesses etc etc oh and caramel tastes good too so there's some motivation.

Mitler absolutely nailed the caramel she is with her handiwork

We also made a sheet of salted caramel (top pic). Just pour your caramel onto a sheet of silicone paper then sprinkle liberally with Maldon sea salt
and then....and then...and then........later in the week Mitler melted some left over caramel down with mascarpone, salt and water.....then we mixed it with plain ice cream to make...........salted caramel ice cream yuuummmmmmmmmm

Music to cook to......

.......a new feature :o)

I'll be giving you the best music selection to get your cook on to.........this week's top 3. It's best if you assume a cheesy DJ voice for the next bit

In at number 3........oh baby it's....Nasty Girl - Notorious B.I.G.
Here's one for all you lovers out there............ our number 2........You Are - Estelle featuring John Legend
This week's number 1........playing daily in the Relish Kitchen........Feelings Gone - Basement Jaxx featuring Sam Sparro

Big Porkin' baby

Last night in France meant it was time for us to get creative, think up (squabble over!) our own 2 course menu then cook it over the day for service in the evening.

On the menu tonight madame et monsieurs....

Main: Braised pork belly with crunchy crackling with mushroom and walnut duxelle, on potato rosti....and ON THE SIDE roasted carrots and green beans with garlic butter

Dessert: Chocolate souffle, salted caramel icecream with walnut shortbread

I think we did pretty well, worked in perfect synchrony as a team..hahaha not too much squabbling anyway. The pork was absolutely gorgeous, melt-in-the-mouth, we did it in the sous-vide at 80degrees for 18hrs.

I've since done it for a cookery school using the following method. I overheard 1 woman say it was the best pork she has ever tasted..wahooo!

Method: Pork belly in roasting tin on top of 3 stalks of celery, water up to just below fat/skin line. Cover with greaseproof, then tin foil. Into oven at 170 for 1 hour, then 140 for 1 hr, then 120 for 3 hours, then I had to go to bed so I jut switched the oven off and left it in.In the morning I just took it out, removed the skin and did the crackling thing with it, then removed the bones from the belly before reheating it. It was super-tender and v delicious....oh and I did loads of SALT and fennel seeds on the skin.yum!
Sorry the France posting is 1. late 2. all out of sync......I'll get more pics up over the next couple of weeks........i promise miss!