November 9, 2008 § Leave a Comment
Spicy Pork & Chilli Pepper Goulash
2kg pork shoulder off the bone, in one piece, skin off, fat left on
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
2 generously heaped tablespoons mild smoked paprika, plus a little extra for serving
2 teaspoons ground caraway seeds
a small bunch of fresh marjoram or oregano, leaves picked
5 peppers (use a mixture of colours)
1 x 280g jar of grilled peppers, drained, peeled and chopped
1 x 400g tin of good-quality plum tomatoes
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
400g basmati or long-grain rice, washed
1 x 142ml pot of soured cream
zest of 1 lemon
a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Get yourself a deep, ovenproof stew pot with a lid and heat it on the hob. Score the fat on the pork in a criss-cross pattern all the way through to the meat, then season generously with salt and pepper. Pour a good glug of olive oil into the pot and then add the pork, fat side down. Cook for about 15 minutes on a medium heat, to render out the fat, then remove the pork from the pot and put it to one side.
Add the onions, chilli, paprika, caraway seeds, marjoram or oregano and a good pinch of salt and pepper to the pot. Turn the heat down and gently cook the onions for 10 minutes, then add the sliced peppers, the grilled peppers and the tomatoes. Put the pork back into the pot, give everything a little shake, then pour in enough water to just cover the meat. Add the vinegar – this will give it a nice little twang. Bring to the boil, put the lid on top, then place in the preheated oven for 3 hours.
You’ll know when the meat is cooked as it will be tender and sticky, and it will break up easily when pulled apart with two forks. If it’s not quite there yet, put the pot back into the oven and just be patient for a little longer!
When the meat is nearly ready, cook the rice in salted, boiling water for 10 minutes until it’s just undercooked, then drain in a colander, reserving some of the cooking water and pouring it back into the pan. Place the colander over the pan on a low heat and put a lid on. Leave to steam dry and cook through for 10 minutes – this will make the rice lovely and fluffy.
Stir the sour cream, lemon zest and most of the parsley together in a little bowl. When the meat is done, take the pot out of the oven and taste the goulash. You’re after a balance of sweetness from the peppers and spiciness from the caraway seeds. Tear or break the meat up and serve the goulash in a big dish or bowl, with a bowl of your steaming rice and your flavoured soured cream.
Sprinkle with the rest of the chopped parsley and tuck in!
November 6, 2008 § 2 Comments
Onion Soup with Madeira and Gruyere Toasts
a good thick slice of butter
large Spanish onions – 3, peeled and sliced
bay leaves – 2
flour – 2 tablespoons
white wine – 250mls
chicken or vegetable stock – 1 litre
Madeira 3-4 tablespoons
sourdough bread – 8 small slices
Gruyere, thinly sliced – 75g
Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, add the sliced onions and the bay leaves and let them cook, without colour, over a medium heat. You want them to be soft and slightly sticky, which will take a good 25 minutes. Don’t hurry them. When they are ready, stir in the flour, cook for a minute or two then pour in the white wine and then the stock, bringing it to the boil. Season with salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Turn the heat down so that the soup simmers merrily, and leave it, with all but an occasional stir for a good 30-40 minutes. Add the Madeira and continue simmering for 5 -10 minutes.
September 7, 2008 § 1 Comment
The Very Good Taste Blog have a recent “100″ listing.
What you do is:
1) Copy the list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
10. Baba ghanoush
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
47. Chicken tikka masala
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
60. Carob chips
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
79. Lapsang souchong
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
90. Criollo chocolate
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
Nothing I wouldn’t eat.
So there ya go!
September 7, 2008 § 3 Comments
Good job sir!
With a name meaning ‘taste’ or ‘relish’ in Gaelic, Blas proudly offers tastes of the Highlands and Islands in produce such as Stornoway black pudding, Ullapool smoked salmon and Dingwall haggis. Fittingly, it’s situated close to many of the city’s watering holes favoured by those from the far north and north-west, and occupies a prime position opposite Kelvingrove Art Gallery. The theme is extended with subtlety inside, with the occasional heather or thistle detail amid the dark walls and solid tables. The mood is relaxed and the service smooth and genuinely warm. Those taken by any of the menu’s carefully sourced ingredients can now pick some up at the new Blas store on Hyndland Street.
While I’m here I might as well give props to the wonderful Cafe Gandolfi (AND Bar Gandolfi AND Gandolfi Fish) owned by Barra boy Seamus MacInnes. I’ve been eating in his establishments for over 10 years and they rarely disappoint.
Here’s a review of Gandolfi Fish by some chap called Barry Shelby
Over on Lewis there are also a fair few good places to eat. Here are some links to some but do you know any more?
The Park, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis
Sulair, Port Of Ness, Isle Of Lewis
Ardhasaig, Ardhasaig, Harris
Bonaventure Aird Uig, Isle Of Lewis
Digby Chick, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis
PS: I’d also like to recommend the Church Street Chip Shop, home to the legendary Cheeky Chips and the award winning Sweeny Codd in Ness!
UPDATE: Apparently Bonaventure is now Gallan Head, under new owners and the Bonaventure’s folk are at the Boatshed Restaurant in Royal Hotel, Stornoway.