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Posts tagged ‘restaurants’

1
Aug

Just who benefits most from Food Supplements?

Grow your own vegetables and use lots of compost

Grow your own vegetables and use lots of compost

The latest ‘warning’ that low levels of selenium in British soil* are having a damaging effect on our health as we are not getting enough of the mineral through the food we eat, is yet another spur to buy yet more supplements.

Most people I talk to about this find the whole subject confusing. Many friends say they take a multi vitamin tablet every day just to be on the safe side. And yet we hear from scientists that our diet is quite adequate and multi vitamin tablets are unnecessary and natural sources are far easier for our bodies to digest.

So this latest selenium information is I feel just adding to the confusion and for  manufacturers to benefit from our anxiety.

A nutritionist has pointed out that natural sources of selenium include sardines, sunflower seeds, prawns, eggs, wholemeal flour and lean meat. Brazil nuts are an especially concentrated source of selenium.

So as brazil nuts, sardines and prawns don’t grow in British soil I’ll be eating some of each every week.

PS Brazils are high in fat – 10g = 6.8g fat, 68kCal and even higher if surrounded by chocolate!

Val Reynolds Brown, Editor

*With so much fruit and veg imported from abroad I wonder just how valid this ‘warning’ is.

26
Jun

Wagamama: Great Food! Great Summer Menu!

My first visit to Wagamama in Lexington Street earlier this year was memorable, good food, clean and pleasant surroundings, food freshly cooked and served quickly. So when I heard about the new summer menu I decided to take two guests, who had never visited Wagamama before, to try it out. It didn’t disappoint. My guests, mother and daughter, were surprised and interested in the food. Surprised because it looked so inviting and interested to discover the taste of dishes new to them.

Fire cracker chicken

Fire cracker chicken

As always we were all watching our waistlines so we shared every dish trying everything on the new summer menu with the exception of Firecracker – a hot spicy dish that we felt would appeal more to the male members of our family.

Wagamama is well known for its noodles and we loved the Yasai Pad-Thai – egg-fried rice noodles in a tamarind sauce with fried tofu, beansprouts, leeks, chinese chives, spring onions, garlic, ginger, mint and chillies, garnished with coriander cress, fried shallots, peanuts and lime. Tasty and very flavoursome it is very suitable for vegetarians.

Yasai pad thai

Yasai pad thai

The two fruit drinks: Apple, mint, celery and lime and Orange berry bang that included passion fruit, were absolutely fab!

We really enjoyed the Beef Kushiyaki – skewers of beef rump steak marinated in lemongrass and lime leaf, glazed with a smoky sweet soy sauce and Chicken Kushiyaki skewers of grilled ginger and mint infused chicken meatballs glazed with a smoky sweet soy sauce.

Kushiyaki prawns

Kushiyaki prawns

The Lollipop Prawn Kushiyaki – skewers of grilled prawns marinated in lemongrass, lime and chilli  glazed with a sweet-sour and hot sauce and served with a caramelised lime were quite delicious.

Our eyes lit up at the accompanying fresh crunchy summer salad – Vegetable chop salad miso marinated fried aubergine, baby plum tomatoes, avocado, caramelised red onions, pumpkin seeds, roasted sweetcorn, red cabbage and mangetout tossed in a miso dressing, garnished with celery cress.

Chop salad

Chop salad

We saved enough space to try the two new desserts: frozen yoghurts, all low in fat, pro-biotic and with natural flavours. A choice citrus yuzu, strawberry and five spices toffee and black cumin seed, mixed yoghurt in any combination. The five spices toffee was a favourite.

The new passion fruit cheesecake – a creamy soft cheese on a real biscuity tasting base and mouthwateringly good passion fruit sauce. I’d have this any day! In fact my mouth is watering right now!

Irresistible Passion Fruit Cheesecake

Irresistible Passion Fruit Cheesecake

So would we go again? Yes, yes and yes again! Whether we want to drop by for a snack, lunch or evening meal, on our own, with friends and or family, it would be most appropriate and we could rely on a consistently good menu. There’s lot to choose from and the serving staff are very, very helpful and full of advice for those unfamiliar with the menu and type of food – that’s us!

Can’t say enough good things about it! By the way, we stuck to water with our meal but there is a comprehensive and inexpensive wine list. We had a cup of refreshing flowering jasmine tea to finish off our most enjoyable lunch.

The next seasonal menu change will be end of autumn – can’t wait to try it!

Wagamama Lounge – Wagamama sets up an outdoor eatery with music and art for festival-goers. For 2012 it’s Manchester, The Isle of Wight and SummerSundae Leicester.  You can find out more on the website www.wagamamalounge.co.uk  There is a Nokia and iPhone app.

PS Just found out TakeOut is on the menu!!!

Val Reynolds Brown, Editor

17
Jun

At Elizabeth David’s Table – her very best everyday recipes

Most recent edition

Most recent edition

A copy of French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David was on my shelf for years and years, and when it disappeared I didn’t notice for a long time! Enough to say I had used it so frequently it was falling to bits, her philosophy and recipes the basis of my own cooking, with adaptations of course, and gradually I didn’t have need to refer to it very often.

What a joy it was to get a copy of Elizabeth David’s Table – her very best everyday recipes compiled by Jill Norman. Reading it I got that comfortable feeling of meeting up with an old friend and read it cover to cover. The inclusion of some down to earth features she wrote for various papers and publications over the years placed at the beginning of the various sections of the book made it a joy to read. Her distinctive, no nonsense way of describing a recipe and how to make it remains in my memory.

I loved her description of the market town of Cavaillon and history of the surrounding area. Full of imagery, her writing is inspirational.

I immediately started adding PostIt notes to mark recipes, Coriander Mushrooms, Aubergine Chutney, Chicken Liver Pate, Pork and Liver Pate – this recipewas one I used at a party many years ago, although I never got to eat any, it went so fast! Rillettes, Green Gnocchi, Broad Beans with bacon, egg and lemon, so many recipes I had forgotten. Those broad bean recipes in particular stimulated my purchase of some “http://realseeds.co.uk/”>Aquadulce Longpod seeds; well adapted for winter sowing and early spring eating.

I love this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in tasty, no fuss cooking, and wanting to experiment without making a hash of things!

Published by Penguin in hardback and softback editions

Lizbeth Canvey, Contributing author and professional cook

11
Jun

Seduced by Reduced! Making a Bargain into a Real Treat

Supermarket limes

Supermarket limes

How often have you been seduced by the REDUCED label in a supermarket – say ten or more onions, or like today, twenty limes – in your supermarket and find it irresistible and confidently expecting to make something of it? But it gets put to one side, gradually to the back of the fridge, forgotten and then discarded, optimism lost in the chasm of inertia! Well it has happened to me of course. The good news is that it happens less often now. Why? I can explore the web for ideas of what can be done with whatever I have bought.

Today I have twenty limes – these are going to be either made into lime curd (my mouth is watering at the prospect!) which takes very little time, or lime chutney – here’s a Google page with lots of recipe sites to choose from.

I collect jars to re-use and buy new tops from Lakeland. Jam and curd take time but very rewarding and make good standby gifts for many occasions.

A recent cookery course I attended included truffles – three different flavours, one including lime zest* which gives me the excuse to make some. They are so luscious I’m not sure they will get to their intended recipients … we just love ‘em! We rolled the truffles in a mix of plain and toasted coconut.

Lime truffles

Lime truffles

Here’s a recipe I found on the web which is similar to the one I used on the course.

Celeriac, not as often used by home cooks here as they do say in France, is frequently reduced in my local supermarket and it gives me the opportunity to produce Salmon with mustard coating, potato, pea and celeriac mash found on the BBC Good Food website. Again a recipe that works very well.

It’s this time of year when I look out for peaches and nectarines  getting lower and lower in price and especially in the Reduced section. Then I usually reach for Elizabeth David’s cook book – At Elizabeth David’s Table – for her easy recipe Peaches in Wine. She tells us the best peaches for this dish are the yellow-fleshed variety. Dip the fruit in boiling water so the skins can be easily peeled off. Slice them straight into big wine glasses, sprinkle with sugar and pour a tablespoon or two of white wine into each glass. Preparing them too far ahead will make the fruit go mushy.  If you would like to give the glasses an attractive look, before you start working on the fruit, put a little water in a saucer, put sugar in another saucer, holding the glass upside down gently dip the glass in the water, shake it to remove any excess water, dip the glass in the saucer of sugar, shake off any excess. Voila! You can now add the fruit and wine, carefully! This works with lots of different fruits and you could experiment with flavoured liqueurs – Cointreau and oranges, raspberries and pear vodka! Pears and raspberry liqueur, the list could go on … and on. Just experiment, great fun.

By the way, my favourite prune sweet is to use prunes soaked in white wine – could be red – for at least 3 months. I use screwtop jars, covered with cling film and the cap screwed on lightly, no need to tighten hard. This is so easy to do and makes a wonderful treat with custard! or cream or even better fromage frais, unsweetened. I keep them in a cupboard out of sight otherwise they are just too easy to dip into and devour the lot!

* For any recipe using lime zest be sure to remove the wax generally added to citrus fruit, unless marked as unwaxed. The easiest way to do this is to dunk the fruit in boiling water for 5 minutes, twice if needs be.

Katie Simpson  Guest writer, Caterer for the Choosey

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