Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews

Text

Fed up with celebrity chefs drizzling sauces over undercooked pieces of meat? I am!

I regularly dine out and am happy to share my restaurant experiences, and views on food, with you.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Organic Con Trick

The Organic Con Trick

I have always been a tad skeptical about the organic food industry, the fact that so many products in supermarkets and restaurants are now labeled "organic" makes me wonder quite where these products are being farmed; given that the majority of farming in Britain relies on chemical fertilisers and pest control.

It should not be ignored that those organisations that sell "organic" produce claim a very hefty mark up for them.

Therefore I was none too surprised to read the following in The Telegraph:

"One of London's most fashionable restaurants, used by film stars and members of the Royal family, has become the first in the country to be fined for falsely claiming that meat used in a number of its dishes was organically farmed.

Julie's Restaurant and Bar was fined £7,500 after its managing director, Johnny Ekperigin, admitted three offences under the Food Safety Act 1990
."

Suffice to say, this story coupled with the recent Spanish egg scandal, has not changed my mind about "organic" produce. I continue to buy conventionally farmed produce.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Nigella Effect

The Nigella Effect

Fans of Nigella Lawson, celebrity cook, domestic godess and daughter of Nigel Lawson, will only be too aware of the effect that her recommendations can have on the availability of ingredients.

In the run up to Christmas, Nigella has been presenting a series of cooking programmes on BBC2 showing her favourite recipes. In one of them she mentioned that a "must have" staple in her kitchen was goose fat. The fat cooks at a higher temperature than other fats, and consequently produces the most succulent and crisp of roast potatoes.

The consequence of her remark has been a veritable panic buying of goose fat, there is now a nationwide shortage of the product.

I should warn you now, Nigella also tipped something else the other day, which is more than likely to disappear from the supermarket shelves just as quickly as the goose fat; disposable aluminium trays. Her view being that, even though it is not environmentally friendly, using a disposable tray for roasting the turkey and the potatoes saves you a hell of a lot of washing up.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Meaty Mince Pies

Meaty Mince Pies

'Tis the season to be merry etc. In keeping with the season, I would like to share with you my recipe for Meaty Mince Pies (a welcome alternative to the sweet variety)

Ingredients

-Puff pastry

-1kg of pork mince

-250g homemade breadcrumbs

-A good handful of fresh finely chopped parsley

-A good handful of fresh finely chopped sage

-A good handful of fresh finely chopped rosemary

-1 egg

-Salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste

Method

Combine all the ingredients (except for the pastry) in a large mixing bowl

Roll and cut circles of pastry to fill a greased mince pie baking tray (this should be enough for 24-30 pies).

Generously fill the pies with the mince mixture

Top off each with a pastry lid

Bake in a hot oven (180-200) for around 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Eat.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Christmas Pick Me Up

The Christmas Pick Me Up

As we are now in the main run up to Christmas, with office parties and other drinking occasions in full swing, I thought that I would share with you my breakfast recipe which is good for the stomach and for protecting against colds.

Ingredients

-Fresh ginger, a one inch chunk

-1 fresh clove of garlic

-A good handful of fresh parsley

-1 medium tomato

Method

Place all the above into a high ball glass.

Half fill with still mineral water.

Blend with a hand blender.

Drink

It helps prevent colds, settles the stomach, eases bloating and rehydrates you.

Drink it everyday.