Monday, November 15, 2010

London - a food lovers heaven

WheelerandCompany are just back from a long weekend of all things food in London and it did not disappoint!



I ate my way around Borough Market where I ran into an old cheese monger friend of mine from my old days in Sheridan's on Pembroke Lane, Dublin 4. It was great to meet her again and not so much of a surprise that she is selling cheese, delicious special French cheese to be exact. She works for a company called MonS where I bought a divine goats cheese called Bicaillou which was salty and strong yet creamy and delicious and I wish I had bought more as it is all gone!





A Raclette like you have never tasted it before..... a specially developed cheese made from the same Jersey herd that produces Montgomery cheddar...Kappacasein use their own Ogleshield cheese is heated under a specially designed gas grill, the scraped off the block and onto baby new potatoes and served with gherkins and baby onions.   I ate this at 9.30am on Saturday morning and I have been dreaming about it ever since, one of the best things I have ever eaten.  They also made toasted cheese sandwiches with Montgomery cheddar on Polaine bread although unfortunately I could not even think about it after my raclette, but I will be back most definitely.





Coffee at Monmouth, more cheese trying at Neal's Yard Dairy, someone handed us amazing almonds covered in milk chocolate and then dusted with cinnamon ... what a pleasant morning.


So after a really exciting meal in Fino on Saturday night with some lovely friends, a trip to Tate Modern to see the sunflower seeds, the John Pawson exhibition at the Design Museum, a fantastic exhibition of bog oak in Shoreditch by Adrian Swinstead and several other pit stops to various watering holes, we packed a lot in but it really worth it.  Inspirational. 
But today it was back to porridge and what to cook for dinner.

I filled up the rest of my preserved lemons, one jar leaving as they are, lemon juice with a thin film of olive oil in top and the other I added the Moro suggested herbs and spices - fresh bay leaves, cloves, cumin and coriander seeds and cinnamon sticks.  They now look really attractive and Christmassy but I have to wait at least a month so that I can sample.

I did make a very nice savoy cabbage, fennel and chorizo gratin. These were in the fridge and it was just so stress free not to have to rush back from a weekend away and immediately go food shopping, especially given the weekend that I had.

Savoy Cabbage, Fennel and Chorizo Gratin

Wash the cabbage leaves thoroughly in salty water.
Plunge into boiling salted water for 5 minutes.
Remove and immediately plunge into cold water.
Dry each leaf and cut out the thick middle stem. Set aside.

Into the boiling water, place 1 fennel bulb quartered and blanch for 5 minutes also.
Place the pieces in the bottom of a gratin dish.
Layer the cabbage and chorizo slices.
Grate Parmesan and maybe Gruyere on each layer also.
Pour about 100ml of cream into the dish.

Mix breadcrumbs and Parmesan for the topping and sprinkle over liberally.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes at 180 degrees.








 

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