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:

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Wild mushroom and cheese crepes

I'm in the process of using up all of my store cupboard ingredients at the moment and the need to use up leftovers etc. prompted the creation of this recipe. I really enjoyed the results so I'm posting the recipe here.

I took a handful of mixed dried wild mushrooms and soaked them in boiling water until soft (around 10 minutes) I then blitzed them with a clove of garlic. I softened the mixture in olive oil and then added a splash of brandy and then added about 3 handfuls of quartered closed cup mushrooms and cooked until softened. I finished the filling off my stirring in a couple of spoonfuls of creme fraiche and seasoning with salt and pepper. 

I then made up a batch of crepes and filled them with the mushroom mixture and sprinkled over some grated mature cheddar.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Creamy crisp crud

Yesterday was unfortunate in a number of ways. First, I had to go to Slough. Second, I arrived far too early. Third, the only place to wait was a well known US fast food outlet specialising in sweet dough based products.

This was the first time that I had actually had one of these and hopefully it will be the last. I'm not a fan of icing/glaze, so I went for the filled option, in this case apple and cinnamon. Apple and cinnamon is one of my favourite flavour combinations when it is done well.

The direct injection of glucose and mouth coating of cheap fat I was expecting, beyond that I probably hadn't given the experience enough thought and was woefully under prepared. The filling was sweet beyond belief and had virtually no cinnamon taste. The apple was dehydrated, but I find that quite appealing, a throw back to my youth spent eating dried apple rings. what was most disturbing about this experience was the dough. At first it had no taste whatsoever, then it left a lingering sense of chemically enhanced bitterness in the mouth. The dusting of cinnamon sugar type stuff was just plain weird.

There was no cream, no crispiness and no plate. Thankfully the espresso that accompanied it was passable, and the time passed quickly as I mentally noted my experiences for this critique!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Spicy stir fry

Made a stir fry for my husband's birthday dinner. I quite like stir frys, but I'm a bit hit and miss about making them. They often end up too sloppy, probably because I crowd the wok or it's not hot enough.

Anyway, the night before I slices some fillet steak and marinated it in chopped garlic, tamari (Japanese soy sauce) and sake. Just enough to wet it, not too much.

To make the stir fry I chopped spring onions and ginger and fried them with some chilli flakes until it was just beginning to brown. I then added sliced green and red pepper and cooked for a minute. Then I put in the beef and marinade. When the beef was still pink I put in some par-boiled noodles and broccoli and then added some oyster sauce from a jar (not too much). I took it off the heat and stirred in plenty of chopped coriander.