Archive for May 2011


3 Mango Sorbet

May 25th, 2011 — 7:42pm

That’s 3 different types of mango, not 3 individual fruits. I’m into combining different varieties of the same ingredient to maximise flavour, such as 2-garlic soup and this cheese and onion tart which uses 3 types of onion. While browsing around in Peckham the other day I noticed the variety of different mangoes available. I usually stick to Alphonsos when making sorbet but these other types were so cheap I couldn’t resist; basically because they were so ripe they were on the edge of going off. Perfect for making sorbet.

I wondered if the 3 varieties (help in identifying them please; there are thousands out there, I got confused) would combine to make one super-intense mango flavoured sorbet. The answer to this question is a whopping great yes. My boyfriend and I ate half the tub the first time we opened it which only leaves the other half for tonight. I am uncomfortable with the thought of being without the sorbet.

There’s something about mangoes which make them better than other fruit for sorbet-ing; they give a very silky-smooth texture which is more like ice cream than sorbet. Extremely satisfying. It’s relatively healthy too, using only 100g sugar. The rest is pure fruit and lime juice.

I should say that I made this in my shiny new Cuisinart ICE30BCU ice cream maker, which Cuisinart kindly sent me to try out (I’m a total whore when it comes to accepting kitchen kit for review). My old ice cream maker was a Magimix Le Glacier 1.1, which did my head in, not least because it had a tiny yet essential part which I (and loads of other people) lost on a regular basis. The Cuisinart model is large in comparison, but with a welcome sturdyness. It also has only 4 parts, large parts, which are easy to fit together. The bottom bowl still goes in the freezer but when it’s on, the bowl turns, not the paddle. This makes it much less likely to break. It takes no time to churn. In short, I love it. And that’s not just because it was free. If you don’t believe that last bit, you can see what I said about the free breadmaker.

So there.

3 Mango Sorbet

Er, 7 mangoes like the ones above. Sorry I didn’t weigh the flesh. The mangoes in the middle are the ones you would easily find in supermarkets, to give you an idea of size. Quantities won’t matter too much though, just get yourself a variety of mangoes.
3 limes
100g icing sugar

Scoop the flesh from the mangoes into a blender. Add the sugar and lime juice and blend. You could then pass the mixture through a sieve to remove any fibrous bits but I didn’t bother. Tip into an ice cream machine and churn until frozen.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, tip the mixture into a freezer-proof container and freeze. After a couple of hours, remove from the freezer and blend again. Freeze again. If you have time, repeat the process once more.

18 comments » | Fruit, Ice Cream

Street Food at The Rye: Week 2

May 23rd, 2011 — 7:55am

Here’s the low-down on this week’s street food at The Rye pub, Peckham. Last week I stuffed myself with tacos from Buen Provecho, choc fudge sundaes from Choc Star and dawgs from The Dogfather. I saw a fair few of  you lot over there too. Here’s to another belly busting week of feasting, kicking off tonight with Tomatu. Oof.

3 comments » | Peckham, Street Food

Pitt Cue Co. (Southbank)

May 21st, 2011 — 6:22pm

I sharpened my elbows and scythed through the hoards of tourists lining the South Bank, eyes firmly on the prize: Pitt Cue Co. Stationed underneath Hungerford Bridge, a purpose built van is serving up American-style BBQ for the next four glorious months; be still my beating heart. A friend and I have been waiting for this place to open for weeks, following their every move on Twitter, waiting for that call. As said friend is currently living it up in Japan eating warm cod’s sperm (I’m told), I took it upon myself to check it out and report back.

This food is different to the BBQ style we are used to in the UK; Americans, as far as I can tell, tend to dry rub large pieces of meat then smoke them for a long time, cooking indirectly, before finishing with sauce. Pulled pork with slaw and pickles anyone? Brisket with beans and more pickles? Ribs? Rotisserie chicken? Smoked corn? Hello!

No woman should plunge into a meat feast without lining her stomach appropriately; we ordered two ‘picklebacks’, which come either with, or without, ‘skin’. A pickleback for those of you who don’t know (I didn’t), is well popular in the Deep South, and consists of a shot of Bourbon (never too early) followed by an equal-sized shot of pickle brine. The ‘skin’ is strips of pork crackling. You drink the bourbon first, its peaty warmth shooting down your throat, soothing anaesthetic; you follow quick smart with the brine, sweet and really pleasant, extinguishing the effects of the bourbon like it never happened. I felt momentarily sad and empty until a little pot of bubbly pork crackling arrived; we demolished the salty pig snacks in seconds.

Attention turned to the brisket, billed as a special. Cooked for 12 hours plus, the meat was, in the words of my boyfriend, ‘so tender it’s like beef spaghetti’. See for yourself below…

Each bite exploded with juice, sauce and all round BOOM, flavour. Wearing white trousers while eating this = major error. It came with slaw (you can choose between beans and slaw) and sweet, crunchy, spiced pickles: inhalable. On the side, two slices of rye, made by Bridget who runs Wild Caper deli in Brixton; she bakes it every morning in the burning furnace of Franco Manca’s pizza oven, before they start service.

The pulled Gloucester Old Spot pork had also benefited from 12 hours plus in the smoker. I marvelled at the tender strands which swerved any danger of claggyness. Beans too; baby-food comfort with bite. A hunk of bread is necessary to soak up juices but doesn’t dominate; a wise decision not to serve the meat in buns in my opinion.

We chat to Zeren Wilson as we eat, perching on stools out front. He tells us that  Tom Adams, the chef behind the show has worked at the Blueprint Cafe before embarking on this and he’s only 22. He cheers as we order two picklebacks, “the first two of the day!” and he seems bursting with excitement, as he should be. There are drinks too, Brew Dog’s Punk IPA, now in cans (one of my all time favourite beers); The Kernel, a London pale ale; Sambrook’s Wandle; Burrow Hill cider. We are strongly encouraged to think about picklebacking ‘Fighting Cock’ bourbon next time we visit. These people are talking my language. Go.

Pitt Cue Co.
Under Hungerford Bridge from 1pm to about 10pm, Wednesday-Sunday.

29 comments » | Barbecue, Street Food

16 Days of Street Food at The Rye, Peckham

May 16th, 2011 — 1:20pm

 

Starting tonight, Eat. St will be kicking off the London summer of street food excitement at The Rye pub in association with the Meatwagon. As of June 1st, The Meatwagon will be serving their burgers and other things that made me put on so much weight recently but until that date, it’s a 16 day street food bonanza with a different hawker every day. These will include some of my favourites such as Angus a.k.a Mongo Denoon and The OK Catering Success (Kolkata street food) and Cooper, a.k.a The Dogfather.

If you’re not familiar with Eat.St, then listen up. I’ll step aside and let the woman behind it, Petra Barran, do the talking,

“Eat. St is driving British street food forward, helping to change the foodscape of London through flavour driven, personality driven curbside cuisine. We are about transforming urban spaces into convivial places – giving London’s food culture a bit of SWAG and picking up the food hawking traditions that London lost to licensing laws last century.

This is London style street food, revolting against the bland, the spoon-fed and the choreographed. Eating in the open air brings out a new side to the London experience and it tastes good!

We are thrilled that The Rye is hosting us – they know a good thing when they eat it.”

As Scott from Capital Pubs (now running The Rye) quite rightly teased me on Twitter, this probably marks the end of PROJECT BIKINI (my diet) as the pub is a 30 second walk from my house. What a way to go out though, eh? Peckham just gets better and better…

The Rye
31 Peckham Rye
SE15 3NX
Tel: 020 7639 5397

See on map.

4 comments » | Peckham, Street Food

A Persian Peckham Pop-up

May 14th, 2011 — 6:46pm

Last night, Anderson & Co. on Bellenden Road hosted the first Peckham Persian supper, cooked by shop keeper and food writer Sally Butcher of Persepolis. Sally’s book ‘Persia in Peckham’ is one of the few I regularly cook from as opposed to flick through so I was very keen to try a traditional Iranian meal cooked by the woman herself. This is likely to become a regular thing by the way; I’m not going to tell you about a one-off event that’s already happened, ‘ooh I had a brilliant time! You can’t go though’.

We started with a big ‘ol plate of herbs, walnuts, white cheese (like feta) and radishes. Herbs are very important at the beginning of a Persian meal we are told; coriander, parsley and mint are eaten in sprigs like salad leaves and have various effects on the body such as cleansing the liver and kidneys and stimulating the appetite for the meal ahead.

Next is warm taftoon bread (like a cross between pitta and naan), which we use to scoop up meze. The word meze is derived from the Persian word ‘mazeh’ meaning ‘taste’, apparently. Fact. We descend upon must-e-laboo, a refreshing, sweet and lurid pink combination of thick yoghurt and beetroot. Mirza ghassemi is an outrageously garlic-y mix of spiced aubergine, tomato and eggs. Our party all loves garlic, so we wolf it like gannets, a heavy vampire-repelling forcefield forming around the table. There are also excellent pickles including the famous Persian pickled cucumbers; sweet, sour, hot and perfectly crisp.

The main course was ab-gusht: shoulder of lamb slow cooked with dried limes and beans. Fat, wibbly hunks of tender lamb and potatoes covered in a fragrant broth. Real comfort on a somewhat chilly evening. Adass pulao was lentil rice with date fudge; the rice studded with lentils which stayed firm and provided a nice bite every now and then. The date fudge = my favourite part of the whole meal; chunks of a sweet, sticky paste to counteract the citrussy stew. We squabbled over the last pieces.

To finish, a stunning Persian rose water sorbet, mixed with small pieces of noodle, which sounds really weird but I promise works. The 1cm lengths of noodle are soft and just provide a pleasing texture. There were sinful Persian pastries too, tooth-destroying sweet, saturated with sticky syrup. Delicious. I forgot to take a picture of both of those though because it’s BYO booze and I drank too much.

All in all, a perfect evening was had by me, 3 mates and 1 boyfriend. Anderson & Co. is a great location, it feels really intimate despite seating about 30 (that’s a guess) and we got one of the best seats, right by the kitchen. The food was unusual, delicious, plentiful and served on great big sharing platters; my idea of heaven. Sally was a charming host as well as cook and she came round to explain each dish as it was served. I can’t wait to go back to the next one. Of course I recommend that you go too, so keep an eye on the news section of the Persepolis website for details.

Persian Pop-up at Anderson & Co.
Bellenden Road
SE15

Follow the website here for details of the next event. Anderson & Co. also host other evening meals, once a week I believe on a Wednesday. It’s a cafe/deli in the day time and is well worth checking out, as is this article.

Persepolis
28-30 Peckham High Street
London
SE15 5DT
0207 639 8007

If you pick up a copy of Red Magazine this month and turn to page 110 there’s an article where I talk about how bloody brilliant Persepolis is with lovely pictures of the shop.

 

 

5 comments » | Cafes, Food From The Rye, Peckham, Pop-up Restaurants

Watermelon and Vodka Sorbet

May 12th, 2011 — 12:16pm

This recipe was inspired by my student days; vodka watermelons were very popular around that time and we spent days force funnelling the things until they were suitably saturated with the cheapest liquor we could find. A supermarket ‘basics’ brand or Glen’s being our budget poison of choice.

My tastes are a little more sophisticated nowadays (I said a little) and I’d like to tell you nothing but the finest went into this recipe but the truth is that the end of a bottle of Smirnoff was languishing so I used that. The vodka flavour wasn’t exactly pronounced though so my advice is as follows: get yourself a decent bottle then add a wee slosh on top of the sorbet in the bowl. Total refreshment, with a punch. Phwoar.

Watermelon and Vodka Sorbet

1.2 kg watermelon (that’s how much mine weighed after I’d removed skin and seeds)
3 tablespoons lime juice
200g caster sugar
3 tablespoons vodka, plus extra to serve
A few slivers of mint leaf, to serve (optional)

Cut the watermelon into wedges and remove the flesh from the skin with a knife. Chop into large slices and do your best to remove the seeds (the mixture will be passed through a sieve later so don’t worry about a few stragglers).

Put the watermelon chunks in a blender with the sugar and lime juice and blend to a liquid. Now pass it through the sieve into a bowl. Try to push as much of the melon pulp through as possible, not just the liquid. Churn the mixture in an ice cream machine until sorbet-like. Mine took about 20 minutes but my watermelon was well chilled, it could take half an hour.

To serve, let it rest out of the freezer for a good 10 to 15 minutes, otherwise it will just break up like a granita when you try and scoop it. Dribble a little vodka into the bowl and scatter on the mint, if using.

9 comments » | Ice Cream

Sticky Rum and Scotch Bonnet Chicken Wings

May 2nd, 2011 — 11:40am

I’m always thinking about the next thing I can sling on the BBQ. This weekend I fancied flavours of the Caribbean and my thoughts, naturally, turned to RUM. I used that as a boozy base for a marinade, then added a mixture of marmalade and honey, which caramelised on the grill and gave the stickiness I was after. Lime juice provided astringency, garlic and thyme fragrance and a scotch bonnet chilli, proper heat. A hint of allspice muddled nicely with the rum.

After playing around with a few variations, I’ve arrived at this recipe which makes a rather sexy pile of wings. The depth of a pirate-sized slug of Captain Morgan, sweet fruit, lip-tingling heat. Mmmm. Wings are excellent on the BBQ as they’re cheap, have a lot of surface area to hold marinade and they cook quickly, so you can get them nice and charred outside and juicy within.

I served this with a bowl of pineapple salsa, which compliments the booze, and a large kitchen roll. Sticky…

Sticky rum and scotch bonnet chicken wings (makes enough marinade for 10 wings)

10 chicken wings

2 tablespoons runny honey
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
A thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
50ml dark rum (I used Captain Morgan)
Zest and juice of 1 large lime plus 1 more for serving
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 scotch bonnet, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Salt

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl, stirring until well mixed and the marmalade is no longer lumpy. Pour about 3/4 of the marinade over the wings, mix to make sure they are well coated then cover and refrigerate overnight. During the day time, try and move the wings around in the marinade a few times if you can, it helps to get them nicely coated.

Preheat your BBQ and cook the wings, turning them often and brushing regularly with the remaining 1/4 of the marinade. Do this until all the marinade is gone, the wings are sticky, charred and cooked through.

18 comments » | Barbecue, Food From The Rye, Meat, Peckham

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