Friday, 25 February 2011

Hot Stuff

When I stumbled across this spicy tofu recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi last week, I just knew I HAD to try it. I happen to be one of those people that actually enjoy tofu (and don't you dare call me a hippy!), and this recipe also called for plenty of butter and spice - both of which I also happen to be a fan of!
Be warned though, this recipe is plenty spicy, so you'll need loads of white rice (and maybe a glass of water handy) to help diffuse the heat. We added about amount of pepper called for, and only used 6 chillies, and still ended up tearing and sniffling. Click here for the recipe.  

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Scallop Week

Scallops with lime and dill, and minted potatoes at The Standard Inn

Hey guys, it's Scallop Week this week over in Rye! Mancreature and I made our way down there this past weekend for a short break, and to eat our fill of scallops. Those buggers were HUGE! Our first scallop meal was at The Standard Inn, where we ended up waiting about 45 minutes for a meal that was, unfortunately, alright at best. The scallops weren't exactly bad, but they were just cooked a tad too long and ended up being slightly rubbery. The potatoes, on the other hand, were pretty much perfect.

Tip: If you do find yourself waiting close to an hour for food here, head to the right hand corner by the fireplace, where there's a healthy stock of board games to keep you entertained. That's where I found out that there was a Lord of the Rings boardgame. 

Scallops with tangerine (and possibly onions?) and potatoes, and some kind of mash, also at The Standard Inn

We stayed on lovely little Cadborough Farm and walked through countryside while getting chased - albeit very, very slowly - by a couple of cows. 

 I bought myself a gorgeous old mini-accordion, which we took with us on our walk to Camber Castle. The castle was deserted, so we took turns playing it and pretending to be wandering minstrels of yore. 
Before we left, we feasted on another meal of big, fat juicy scallops, this time at The Old Bell. We were starving, so ordered a started and a main each - that's four dishes between the two of us. Which wouldn't normally have been crazy, but we had no idea that the starters would be the size of a main. And the mains? Well, you know how you sometimes get a huge plate, with bits of food scattered around  and plenty of empty space, in an attempt at 'presentation'? The chef here had probably never heard of that word, because the plate was FILLED WITH FOOD! And very tasty food at that, although I had to admit defeat halfway through and give up on the lovely, crispy potato chunks. 
 Starter: Wild boar pate with toasted bread, chutney and butter, and salad. This was mine, The Manbeast had whitebait and salad.
 Scallops with pork belly, savoy cabbage and potatoes.
 Scallop and chorizo, with vegetable tempura and potatoes

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Upside Down Condensed Milk Cake

The idea for this cake came from this post for a sweetened condensed milk cake. You know you're onto a good thing when a recipe calls for you to put everything into a bowl and mix it up. It goes without saying that I like to bake. I'm happy to spend hours mixing and stirring and frosting and standing in front of a hot oven, but sometimes I just want to have my cake and eat it without too much fuss. I promptly bookmarked the recipe, and used it as the base for this cake after finding a lonely quince sitting on my shelf. 
Upside Down Quince and Condensed Milk Cake (adapted from Technicolour Kitchen)

1 quince*
1 tin (397 gm) condensed milk
4 eggs
200 gm self-raising flour
50 gm unsalted butter

- Preheat oven to 175 C. Melt butter in a pan and set it aside.

- Core and slice up quince (or whatever fruit you're using). Cover the base of a circular 9 inch baking pan with the sliced fruit**.

- Place all the other ingredients together in a large bowl, and mix well. Pour the batter into the baking pan, over the layer of sliced fruit.

- Bake for about 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. 

- Leave to cool on a rack, then turn it out and enjoy! 

* Or use apples and pears if you prefer. 
** Use a layer of greaseproof paper in the pan if you're using a non-stick pan, as the metal can sometimes taint the fruit and cause it to have a slight metallic tang. 

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Fishy Business

After thinking about it for - quite literally - years, I went ahead and got myself a fisheye lens in December. The Manbeast and I took it out for a test run recently, and it's tremendous fun. Everything looks like the inside of a snow globe. 

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Edinburgh On Film

We arrived at Edinburgh Waverly Station, and got a little lost trying to find our hotel, even though it was quite literally across the road from the station.  

On Calton Hill doing touristy activities such as climbing up Nelson's Monument and receiving a 'certificate of achievement' for making it to the top of the tower.

This handsome fellow came over to say hello...

Brunch at the German Christmas Markets...