Off we go again to sample the delights of the Restaurant Show trade fair at Earls Court. Our first mission - to get the best coffee we can find, as fast as possible, and free. Inspector X won. Then to lunch at the the disappointing street food area (this years theme) where I had the worst 'street food' I have had all year, I should have realised - there was no queue! Then off to taste Orange wines. Here are some of the pics - starting with Tuddenham Mill chef Paul Foster doing a demo.
A delicious treat and the perfect way to use up those unripe tomatoes. Vegetarian too!
- 4 to 6 green tomatoes
- salt and pepper
- beaten egg
- vegetable oil for frying
Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 - 1/2-inch slices. Salt and pepper them to taste. Dip in the beaten egg and then the corn meal. Fry in hot oil for about 3 minutes or until golden on bottom. Gently turn and fry the other side. Serve as a side dish - delicious with breakfast!
Yesterday I picked the last of the mulberry crop from the suffolkfoodie ancestral home.. The old mulberry tree blew over in the great storm of 1987 but being from a farming family, daddy suffolkfoodie pulled the tree upright with his tractor and tied it back into position. It survived! I have picked over 20kgs of fruit and made some into jam. Here is the recipe. I used jam sugar with added pectin as mulberries are low in pectin. I added plenty of red, unripe fruits to improve the setting, as the red fruit have higher pectin levels.
1kg Mulberries and 1kg of Jam Sugar
Rinse the mulberries carefully and quickly so as not to lose too much juice. Put into a large saucepan and simmer until soft. Stir in the sugar ensuring that it all dissolves. Boil hard until setting point is reached. (Setting point can be tested by dropping some cooked jam onto a saucer which has been chilled in the freezer, a skin will form on top of the jam when setting point is achieved)
Warm some clean jars in the oven, bottle and store.
Meet Malcolm our October Dish of the Day - you can just see him at the back! Malcolm is one of the bakers at The Suffolk Food Hall. Their display of homemade artisan breads and baked goods is very impressive and so is the view from the Cookhouse Restaurant window.
A very special afternoon tea is being held in Ickworth House West Wing. It is in aid of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. Tickets cost £15.00 for adults and £3.00 for children. The cost of the ticket includes afternoon tea and entrance to the park and gardens.The County Upper School Swing Band will be playing and the tea will be served on the fabulous vintage china of suffolkvintagechinahire. See the flyer for booking details. See you there!!
Today I picked my whole crop of basil and turned it into pesto sauce ready to smother onto hot pasta. Pesto is very quick and easy to make, either in a mini food processor or by hand, with a pestle and mortar. You will need:
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts ( or try walnuts for a change)
- 3 medium sized garlic cloves crushed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Crush the basil leaves, salt, pepper and garlic together adding the nuts and oil a little at a time. Keep working until you have a rough paste. Add the grated cheese and the last of the oil. Mix well and store in the fridge in a covered jar.
I keep a layer of oil on top of the sauce, to maintain the colour and texture.
Asda have whole, fresh trout on offer for £1.50 each, and what a bargain they are. I have been hot smoking mine, and the fishmonger told me that the customer before me also bought 10 to smoke. My Weber-style barbeque works well, however Hugh Fearnley -Whittingstall uses an old bread bin.
On Saturday night Cambridge was hit by flash flooding which forced most restaurants in the centre of the city to close, including Jamies Italian and The Cambridge Chop House. Forced to search elsewhere for supper we spotted Fitzbillies, famed for Chelsea Buns and for having Stephen Fry as a fan. The 1922 vintage facade gave us no clue that anything other than afternoon teas were served. On closer inspection we saw diners inside so went in.
A hesitant Maitre D' thought carefully before allowing us a table (we thought they must all be reserved, but in fact weren't) The main courses were simply presented and included a pork chop with roast fennel, cherry toms and new potatoes, and grilled mackerel with courgettes, saffron and organo which I chose. Portion sizes varied wildly from a Ploughmans size starter of Potted Venison, pickled redcurrants and sourdough, to a three mouthful plate of Goose Ham and melon (yes, we asked, it's cured and dried goose breast) No culinary masterpieces but well cooked and fresh ingredients.
The service is laid back here and the staff appeared to be having a good time on their own table. One of our puddings is pictured - Filo, layered with chocolate cream and raspberry, but the best part of the meal was undoubtedly the discovery of a delicious Boekenhoutskloof ( Franschhoek. Cape Wine.) The Wolftrap. delicious...buy yourself a case. I will.
Wow! Suffolkfoodie has found the perfect burger - in Great Yarmouth. YES! Great Yarmouth... We followed our noses tthrough the wood smoke to the The Barking Smack, next door to The Hippodrome. We also followed our ears, as we loved the sound of the Roots Reggae that gave the terrace bbq shack a relaxed and laid back feel. The burgers were proper, juicy patties, cooked to your liking and there were real ales too, including Blonde Ash. Here is the Carnivore Burger. Well done to Mark, not only an excellent burger, but happy and helpful service too!