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Showing posts from July, 2011

Scotch Egg Challenge at The Ship, Wandsworth - Tuesday 20th September

Scotch egg! Scotch egg! How I love thee! For the uninitiated, Oliver Thring gives good background on what a Scotch egg is and where it came from. This is not a Scotch egg.

The formula for what makes a good Scotch egg is very simple:

Soft-Boiled Egg + Seasoned Meat + Breadcrumb + Deep-Frying --> Heaven in a Sphere

A far cry from those supermarket horrors comprising hard, greying eggs rattling around in a case of pappy sausagemeat and moist crumb, never mind what Wikipedia says, a Scotch egg should be warm and cossetting, with meat that yields and a yolk that dribbles.

So I am delighted to announce that I'll be one of a distinguished panel of judges at the Scotch Egg Challenge on Tuesday 9th AugustTuesday 20th September (postponed due to the troubles in London) at that marvellous pub called The Ship in Wandsworth to decide who makes the best Scotch Egg.

Open to professionals, pubs and restaurants alike, if you'd like to enter or want more details, please contact the Ship on th…

Doki Japanese Tableware Reopens Next Month

How I hope the new Doki will look - this shop is actually in Tokyo

LATEST on Doki-watch - after a brief sojourn at Pacific Plaza, the not very successful successor to Oriental City, it seems Doki the beloved Japanese tableware shop is moving to Harrow Weald in August. Tetote Factory, its sister bakery, will also re-open in South Ealing next month.

Doki will also be at HyperJapan - a massive event celebrating all things Japanese from today till Sunday at Olympia Two, London.

HyperJapan's site tells us:

"Doki was established in 1978 as Masyu Artware, and was then re-named Utsuwa-no-Yakata, before becoming Doki as it is known today.The Doki shop is moving now to a new premises in Harrow Weald in August. At HYPER JAPAN 2011 it will be presenting a selection of ceramics and pottery imported directly from Japan.

Doki is written as 土器 in Japanese kanji characters, and means earthenware. It is the term used to describe ancient Japanese earthenware, and Doki today provides people living in…

Senses of Thailand at Selfridges 14-30 July 2011

As mentioned in my Som Tam post, you can get yourself a taste of Thailand at Senses of Thailand, a celebration of Thai food and culture in Selfridges, London until 30th July.

The promotion is backed by the Royal Thai Embassy, Thai Trade Centre, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand, so it's got an official seal of approval, and over the fortnight, we've been told to expect expert cooking demos, tastings, modern and traditional Thai dance performances and puppet shows.




More excitingly as far as I'm concerned are the Thai street food carts which are selling authentic snacks, including Som Tam (the free samples they were giving out weren't quite spicy enough for my liking), and Mieng Kham from the restaurant Patara.

Mieng kham are fantasticly addictive wrapped betel leaves stuffed with nuts, dried shrimp, chillis and shallots - my video above shows how they are made. Again, they're giving out free samples as well as selling do-it-yourself takeaway packs, so do try to ca…

Som Tam Recipe aka Spicy Papaya Salad - Thailand (Channel 4 Food)

Som tam is more than a Thai salad - it's a trial by fire.

Journalist Marina O'Loughlin commented that, "I had one in Bangkok that was so fiery I almost had an out-of-body experience", and fellow blogger Hollow Legs' verdict on a proper som tam was that, "It should be face-crunchingly spicy".



That probably makes som tam, a wondrous spicy green papaya salad, sound like a bad thing, but it's not.

I guess the closest analogy for me is when you're standing right next to the speaker at a gig played by your favourite band in the world (for me right now this would be Chicago band Tortoise).

At the end you're left dazed and reeling, with white spots flashing in your eyes and a pounding ache in your ears, but the pain is spiked with the sharpest, purest, giddy pleasure.

Maybe we're all just masochists.



Talking of pounding, "som tam" actually means "sour pound", as it's made in a pestle and mortar - you mash away to blend the ingr…

The Fairy Hobmother - An Offer You Can't Refuse ...

There's been a lot of hoo-ha in the blog world recently about the Fairy Hobmother. This benevolent being has been flitting about granting wishes and no-one really knows why.

Behind it all is a company called Appliances Online which as the name suggests sells all manner of electrical goods for your home. Obviously, they're wanting to spread their name and gain a good reputation, but they've been sending lucky people items that they don't even stock themselves.

What gives, Appliances Online? WHY ARE YOU SO NICE?

Anyway, I made a wish a while back on the very excellent blog A Rather Unusual Chinaman for some accessories to pimp my Kitchenaid trophy Bertie Branning (named after Max Branning of Eastenders fame) and lo and behold, the Fairy Hobmother sent me:
a rather secksy glass bowl which I'd been lusting after since I'd seen Lorraine Pascale use one on Baking Made Easy.a meat grinder which came in a box with the words "Fleisch Wolf" on it. FLEISCH WOLF. Yes…

Olive Oil Chocolate Cake

Regular readers may be aware that I'm not a fan of baking, partly because I haven't got a particularly sweet tooth, and partly because I cannot be faffed with the precision of weighing everything out. But occasionally I'll see a picture or read a recipe that makes me go "Ooooooh" and consider whipping out my kitchen scales.

Like this recipe which I came across in the Green & Black's Ultimate Chocolate Cookbook that I won in the Taste Test part of their 15:15 Challenge last year.

A recipe for Olive Oil Chocolate Torte by Jose Pizarro, former chef partner at Brindisa and now chef owner of the new and wonderful eponymous Jose Tapas and Sherry Bar in Bermondsey.



It sounds like it shouldn't work to be honest - curiosity was mainly why I wanted to try it. It contains no flour (yes, it's gluten-free), and no almonds either - in fact, the ingredients seem more suited to a tortilla.

What really spurred me to make it, however, was when Rachel McCormack from Cat…