Thursday, 25 March 2010

Easter bake-off

We have an Easter bake off at work and I have been nominated by my team to put something forward. after some toying with various ideas, including simnel cake cupcakes, I'm going to stay traditional and try to make Hot Cross Buns. I will report back.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Hogmanay dinner @ The White House, Wellington

The White House is one of Wellington's top restaurants, we chose it for our last meal of 2008.

Amuse bouche
Ceviche with raw red onion and chive in a sour cream sauce.

Sourdough roll with truffle salt butter

Rack of lamb in a manuka sauce and shoulder of lamb cooked sous-vide ( with celery and tomato. This was accompanied by cubes of halloumi wrapped in mint leaves and deep fried. Served on a bright green spinach puree.

Chips with aioli

Over the Moon New Zealand brie, Neudorf Mount Arthur aged sheep's milk cheese (NZ), and Talbot Forest NZ Aged Cheddar, served with quince and fig jellies, crackers and raisins on the vine.

Amuse bouche
Cherries dipped in chocolate, served over dry ice.

Te Mata "Bullnose" Syrah 2006 (Hawkes Bay, NZ)

Short black

I felt that the ceviche amuse bouche was rather overpowering and there was a danger or spoiling the palate if you were having a delicate starter.

The main course was just the right size and the balance and range of flavours was good. I wasn't aware of the sous-vide technique before, but thought that it worked well. The fried halloumi cubes wrapped in mint were the star of this dish and joined the two lambs well.

I was disappointed at the lack of NZ cheeses on the menu and felt that the cheese that we had could have been kept better. The cheddar in particular was sweaty and dry.

The wine was outstanding, I would definitely look for it again, and the Syrah went well with the lamb.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Savory muffins

Went out for brunch on Sunday here in Wellington and had some delicious savoury muffins. They were cheese, spinach and pumpkin. It was a standard white flour muffin mix, with softened onions, shredded spinach, grated cheese and chunks of cooked pumpkin. I'm definitely going to try to recreate these when my muffin tins arrive!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Korean BBQ

Still in Hong Kong. Went out for a Korean meal last night. Believe it or not that is the first time that I've had Korean food.

To begin with they brought a range of pickles etc to the table. The highlights were the yam, the tiny little fishes and the spinach.

We then had a variety of thin cut marinated meat and fish to cook on the griddle in the middle of the table. The pork was very good and also the squid. We also had egg fried rice and spicy noodles, but I was getting on the full side by then.

To accompany all of this we had small cps of wild raspberry wine - very tasty.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Hong Kong seafood lunch

I'm spending a few days in Hong Kong on route to New Zealand. Today we went for lunch in the seafood restaurant district of Lei Yue Mun. There are lots of stalls selling fish and seafood from tanks. You pick what you want to have, they weigh it and price it and then you take it to one of the restaurants to have it cooked. We picked out a fish, a crab and some tiger prawns.

They brought salted peanuts cooked in their skins for us to have with our beer. Then they brought a plate of clams in black bean sauce. The tiger prawns that we selected were split in half, still in their shells, and cooked with garlic and spring onion. The fish was steamed whole with soy sauce and spring onions. The crab came as spicy crab- fried and covered in a heap of fried ginger, chilli, garlic and spring onion. we also had egg fried rice which had pork and prawns through it.

Monday, 29 September 2008

What a Hullabaloo

We went to the Ipswich Beer festival at the weekend. As it was the last night the choice was rather more limited than normal, but I still sampled a fine brew called Hullabaloo. Brewed by the Loddon Brewery it was an aromatic bitter with a hint of sweetness and a wonderful amber colour. You can find out more at: