Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Excellent news!!!!

I have been asked to cater for a re-opening of Cow Lane Studios in Manchester!!! I'm very excited!!!

I'm going to start planning canapés to make- I'm thinking puff pastry redpepper pesto and manchego cheese pinwheels and filo pastry chinese five spice mushroom parcels with sweet chilli dip.

If you have any thoughts let me know.

No drama xxx

Having dinner cooked for you

So.... Louis had the day off yesterday and decide to surprise me by cooking dinner for me! (believe me it came as a surprise as Lou has NEVER cooked an actual meal for me - unless your counting cheese toasties in the breville!)

So I waltz in home from a hard days work to a gorgeous aroma in the house which instantly makes my stomach rumble ( I was ravenous!!!) i found my partner hovering around the oven nervously. He had spent 3 hours cooking a beef casserole/goulash and was getting ready to dish it up with some mashed potato. The reason I call it a casserole/goulash is because he had followed a casserole recipe but started adding a dash of paprika and a pinch of chilli flakes and some tomato purée making it a hybrid - my inventive cooking style must be rubbing of on him!!!

Well I have to say he did a brilliant job the beef was so tender and beautiful and the sauce was hearty without being too heavy. Delicious!

A nice treat having dinner cooked for you- Louis might have to do it more often


No drama.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Ireland

Recently Louis and I went to Ireland to visit some of his family they live in a place called Muff in Co. Donegal. Now if you ever go (or if you live nearby) I recommend going to a restaurant called "Mary Deeney's Bar and Restaurant", it's a cute little place situated on the main road between Derry and Moville and is an absolute delight to go to. It's a tradition styled thatched public house with an old threshing machine separating the bar and restaurant and the walls have local historical trinkets on them which are enchanting and adds to the cosy atmosphere along with a beautiful fire place.

Now on to the food. Oh. My. Word.

Louis ordered a fillet of Irish beef with smokey bacon mash, tobacco onions and a red wine and shallot jus. The beef was huge!! We were expecting a tiny tiny portion like we would usually get in England and Louis was delighted with the beast that adorned his plate. Obviously I had to have a taste and oh my the meat was tender, juicy and so so delicious (I should mention Louis likes his meat well done, so getting it to taste that good is no mean feat!!)

I had been craving garlic like mad so I ordered chicken and chorizo pasta which had in garlic, chilli, red onions, peppers and a dusting of parmesan, the pasta came with a garlic bread which had a warm salsa, slices of chorizo and cheese melted ontop. I'm telling you now I was in heaven there and then. I have never never had a dish so wonderfully balanced that I wanted to marry it. I have been trying to recreate this dish to it's glory in which I received it and I'm always slightly off... Maybe it was the atmosphere, maybe it was the produce or maybe I'm missing a secret ingredient. Either way if your planning a trip to Ireland drop in at Mary Deeney's and have the pasta for me.

No Drama.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Pesto

Eugh where to begin with my addiction to pesto? I've tried them all! And I find them essential to any Italian dish. My current favourite at the moment is wild garlic by Sacla. It's great just to put a teaspoon in a lasagne to lift it or on it's own stirred into pasta with a dusting of parmesan. I use pesto with pizza, pasta, rice, paella, risotto, on baked chicken breast. I've been known to put a light brush of pesto on my roast potatoes when making an Italian meal.

Pesto is essential in any Italian cooking and I find it's especially nice to make your own once in a while.

Ingredients
- 50g/2oz basil
- 30g/1oz pine nuts, toasted
- 30g/1oz parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- 85ml/3fl oz olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper


Method
1. Put the basil, parmesan, garlic and pine nuts into a food processor and season well.
2. Whiz together and with the motor still running, pour the oil in until the pesto thickens.
3. Store in a clean jar in the fridge covered with a drizzle of oil to prevent it drying out.

Let me know how it goes!


No drama. Xxx

Paneer

Ok so last night I cooked paneer tikka masala for my partner. Paneer is an Indian curd cheese that you cube and fry in a little oil until it's golden brown on all sides and then you can add it to anything.

So here you can see my efforts. Paneer is a strange texture, it's crispy on the outside and you hear a squeak inside your mouth when you chew but it's not unpleasant it's rather enjoyable! It also has a slight creamyness which works well with spicy food. I'm in no way a vegetarian but I would pick Paneer over tofu if given the choice.

So how about trying it next time you wanna make an indian dish?


Happy experimenting!


No drama. Xxxx

Hello

Ok The best thing to do is start with me I guess. I'm Sammie, I live with my partner Louis and a crazy cat called Hobbes in a two bedroomed house in Manchester. I'm a personnel officer and Lou is a case progressor. My love and passion is in cooking. My favourite spice is cumin and my favourite herb is coriander. I love Mexican, Indian and Italian food but give me a good steak and I'll be happy. So I guess if you don't like food we ain't gonna get on! This blog is going to be all about my trials, tribulations and tastes.

Just a 22 year old with a whisk, wooden spoon and frying pan.


No drama.


Just a few fine things.