2015 foodie moments and munching on pork belly
2015 ended in a bit of a blur. I started a new job, it was mad busy to get everything wrapped up before Christmas and then there was Christmas. I filled the house with people and celebrated in true style! There was lots and lots of food and plenty of wine. The days between Christmas and New years were spent cleaning and clearing for New Years eve whilst keeping an eye on work. I was responsible for making the starter on New Year’s eve and chose to make Stilton ice cream salad as an amuse bouche and lime candied prawns as a starter. We did a neighbour crawl as our road is full of friends and we all get along so amazingly well!
It emerged over Christmas that the railway was under some serious risk of falling in to the sea due to erosion that created sink holes and cracks and my journey to London has drastically increase in time. I read an article how the railway was built by the Victorians but had been reinforced in the 1920ties. To me that seems like bit of a while ago and I hope that they might keep a closer eye on it going forward. Anyway, the travelling gives me a lot of time to think and as always food is often on my mind.
With the foodie year kicking off I was asked by Angie to co host the ever growing and most fun foodie party, Fiesta Friday 103! Not only that together with the lovely Sonal from Simply Vegetarian. I actually wrote this post before Angie asked me as you will see that she will re appear further down! If you have cooked or are just looking for inspiration come and join us!
Coming home the other night I was thinking back at 2015 in relation to food and here are some of my favourite food related blogs/recipes/experiences that I want to share with you! There is no better way to do this than over a bite to eat and I have had pork belly on my mind for a while, the one with cayenne peppered crackling, roasted on pineapple, you can see the recipe here.
I love how the whole house smells of roasting meat and one of my favourite things in the world is crackling. I wish it wasn’t quite so naughty!
Enough of the pork belly for now and let me share some foodie highlights from 2015. These are things I would eat again and again and that I want to share with you.
10 Greek Street – I can never resist their burrata, but everything I have tasted is delicious and this red mullet was no exception, so simple and so good.
The year’s best find was Farrang. When I started blogging I had a lovely comment from a very talented chef, Seb Holmes who has a compelling blog, Articuleat. I love Sebs blog, he is using a range of ingredients I have never even heard of and then puts them together in delicious sounding and looking dishes. For some reason I never got around to eating at any of the restaurants he worked and in 2015 Farang appeared on my radar. This is Seb & co’s latest project and oh what a delicious one. Just before Christmas they ran a pop up restaurant at San Daniele, Highbury. It is beautiful Thai street food made with British ingredients.
I went there in the evening and sadly none of my images came out good but Chef Seb has very kindly let me use one of his images, taken by Zeren Wilson, Bittenwritten. Head over there for great reviews and beautiful images.
This is pomegranate Miang with ginger, chilli, lime, peanuts and toasted coconut served on beetle leaves. The dish is delicious, light, it is full of textures and the flavours comes together so beautifully.
Besides those two restaurants it was a good foodie year with the London heat of the Global Sushi Challenge. I have never seen such beautiful and inventive sushi! Needless to say after seeing that I got some creative ideas regarding sushi, I now have all the ingredients except the fresh ones and I am ready!
I did some experimental cooking and the most fun thing was the purchase of an ice cream machine. I have always preferred savoury over sweet and I can’t wait to create some crazy ice creams.
I started with olive oil ice cream with candied olives, it packs a lovely flavour punch. The bowl for the ice cream making now has a permanent place in the freezer and I will have inventive, or more traditional ice creams in no time!
Olive oil ice cream with candied olive
I love a challenge and when I was asked by Dragonfly tea to use them I did some dishes, as well as brew myself some excellent tea and my favourite was the Earl Grey and orange glazed duck. Duck is always lovely isn’t it?
There was a dish that made me do something I very rarely do, deep fry. Thanks to the wonders of video online I couldn’t resist the crunch when she bit in to the chicken, check it out here. It was so good I tweaked the recipe and I have made it several times since and here is my latest and favourite version.
The last dish is the humble herring. When they are in season I can buy four for £1 and they are more than enough as dinner for two! There are very few things that are so delicious and so cheap. I saw a recipe with herring and raspberry vinegar, a combination that had to be tried. I even had some great raspberry vinegar that I bought at a market about a year ago and that has been sitting in my cupboard. I served it with shallots and beetroot and it is an absolutely lovely combination. if you can’t buy raspberry vinegar the super talented Kellie, Food to Glow has a recipe here. I have made several versions and it is delicious!
Herring with raspberry vinegar and beetroot
I know that I will go back to 10 Greek Street, I will find out what Chef Seb is up to and eat his food again and I would cook any of the dishes (and I have done) above again, and perhaps again!
Last but not least I would like to mention a few blogs that always makes me hungry and that always inspire me to try new things and gets me thinking about new ways of cooking and new dishes. Some you might already read but if not, have a look and I am sure you will find something that will inspire you, not to mention making you hungry!
Flavour Bender by Dini, the photography is outstanding and so many of her recipes are on my recipe bucket list I don’t know where to start!
The Novice Gardener by Angie, Each post is captivating. She cooks amazing food and bakes cakes so pretty she could easily open a bakery! On top of all that she is absolutely lovely and hosts Fiesta Friday each week. Her natural warm personality and knack for throwing a great party makes us all want to come back every week and it is ever growing in numbers!
Foodie On Board by Julianna, I think I might have found my foodie twin! I can read her recipes and just wish I was there, at her table! Some of her recipes just fell of the page and I simply had to go to the kitchen and make them, pronto! Try this Japanese curry, with chicken or vegetarian this curry powder is a sensation! Just to mention one dish!
Hostess at Heart by Julie, I don’t bake very often but I have a large bunch of the lovely Julies recipes for all kinds of bake goods, bread as well as cakes. On top of that she is a great cook and there is always something to tempt you!
A Pug in the kitchen by Suzanne, some funny and some serious blogs letting us take part of her life and the wonderful food she cooks and she can bake too!
Ginger and Bread by Steffi, all I can say is head over there and have a look at all that deliciousness, illustrated by edible photography.
Simply Vegetarian by Sonal, Indian/American vegetarian recipes, vibrant and full of flavour.
The two blogs I have already mentioned
Articuleat by Chef Seb, delicious sounding Thai street food recipes with ingredients I have never heard of, I just love it!
Food To Glow by Kellie, stunning photography and innovative and delicious, mainly plant based recipes.
January is almost over, there was no increased frequency in gym visits or a diet but overall I would like to look back at 2016 and think it was a slightly healthier year and maybe, just maybe I can finally fit in to that one last, tight dress again that is still not quite within reach. Saying that it might be a step too far for a food and especially cheese lover like myself! Better late than never, have a fantastic 2016 and I can’t wait to read more foodie blogs and have some truly inspired foodie moments!