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Best of the best food blogs

Best of the best food blogs

By on Oct 12, 2013 in Cocktails, Drink, Food, Photography, Recipes, Reviews | 0 comments

As a blogger I am often asked to specify my favourite food blogs. Presumably people are curious to know where I glean inspiration from. The truth is that I tend to derive inspiration from external influences such as fantastic locations and venues, exceptional chef’s skills or particularly good produce. However it has to be said there are some excellent and inspirational blogs out there and of course I do read them, its simply that I try not to be too derivative or else it would seem unoriginal and perhaps less inspiring. Today I am publishing a selection of what I consider to be the best food blogs out there, or at least those that I turn to when in need of some inspiration, be it visual or culinary. To some it may seem madness to be promoting those who I am effectively in competition with, but of course that’s the beauty of food blogging; it’s not a highly competitive game, although of course there is an element of friendly competition in as much as we all want to be the best we can be. However, it’s a shared space that fosters a sense of community, which is something I’m proud to be a part of. I hope you enjoy their work as much as I do. Katie hails from Sydney, Australia and her blog is a visual marvel; perhaps unsurprisingly as she is a photographer by trade. Her recipes are unfussy and delicious, and she is also a great traveller and restaurant reviewer. An all-rounder and absolute natural at her game. What are the best features of the Californian Putney Farmer’s blog? It’s hard to know where to even begin. You could start with the fact they grow most of what they blog about. In their own words “We have a garden, orchard, berry patch and bees. We grow about 50 fruits, veggies and herbs every year.” They seem to blog pretty much every day, so the blog is packed with literally hundreds of fantastic recipes. Add in the fact they feature outstanding cocktail recipes and yes, that’s pretty much a recipe for success. Sam is a prodigious home chef who cheats by also running a cafe. Cheeky chap. It’s...

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Fishy in a dishy with a fat slab of beef

Fishy in a dishy with a fat slab of beef

By on May 23, 2013 in Asian, Food, Recipes | 0 comments

Or: “Le surf et la viande de bouef” Or, instead of “ave a banana!” “Heifer tsunami!” Bovine shipwreck? Admittedly, might need some work. I’m developing ways to say surf and turf without saying surf and turf, as the whole point of the blogger’s fraternity of culinary invention, is to provide a twist on classics. This is the most long overdue recipe I’ve ever posted, and for that I have my fellow food bloggers to beg for forgiveness. I cogitated over this dish for a while, not wanting to produce anything too mediocre, and I must say I’m fairly pleased with the resulting balance of flavours and textures. This is essentially a pan-Asian take on surf and turf, and features a slab of steak cooked with umami paste and smoked garlic, topped with sea trout tartare and served alongside dressed seaweed and porcini mushrooms. What it certainly achieves is the sensation of the ocean with the trout, nam pla and seaweed, combined with the earthiness of the garlic, mushroom and beef. Ingredients (serves two as a generous starter). For the steak: 1 fillet or sirloin steak, according to your preference (approx 8 oz / 220 grams) Toasted sesame oil Smoked garlic powder or pureed smoked garlic Umami paste For the sea trout tartare:  1 sea trout steak (approx 6 oz / 170 grams) 2 tsps peanut oil or toasted sesame oil 2 tsps lemon juice 2 tsps lime juice 2 tsps grapefruit juice 1 tbsp brown demerara sugar 1 tbsp nam pla (fish sauce) 1 tsp pink peppercorns, crushed 1 tsp very finely diced / splintered ginger 1 tsp finely chopped lemongrass 5 cms wide chunk of cucumber, diced finely For the mushrooms: 1 tsp toasted sesame oil 4 Porcini mushrooms, quartered 1 tbsp dark soy sauce For  the seaweed:  A small handful of fresh seaweed (or dried if unavailable) 2 tsps of the dressing for the tartare Recipe:  Firstly ensure your seaweed is well washed and dried. To prepare the tartare, firstly create the dressing by combining all the ingredients except the cucumber in a bowl and whisking together. If the trout steak comes with skin on, cut it off, baste with a little of the dressing and grill the skin...

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Death by bacon

Death by bacon

By on Mar 21, 2013 in Food, Recipes | 0 comments

Apparently Bacon kills you. Yep. It’s been all over the news so it must be true and a reason to stop eating bacon at once; or how about, not?  A quick look at the facts tells us that the lifetime risk of developing pancreatic cancer is 1 in 77 for men and 1 in 79 for women. Eating 2 rashers a day increases your chances by 19%. I don’t mind those odds frankly, but even so, here’s the answer: don’t eat it every day! Eat it once a week or so and you should be fine, right? Quitting smoking is also a sure-fire way of reducing the risks. Smoking, sure-fire, get it? So I made this sarnie for brunch today. It was quite delicious. Sarnie means sandwich in England. Sandwich was an Earl. Not to be confused with Earl Grey, although you could have Earl Grey with a sandwich and that would be nice. Apparently Sandwich (the Earl) was such a voracious gambler that he didn’t want to leave the tables, so he’d have his man fetch him up some bread and meat to sustain him there. He’d slap the meat ‘twixt the bread and hey presto. Before long his gambling pals would order up a “Sandwich.” Or the alternative version is about a sauna he used to frequent but we’ll leave that for another day. For the gambling manwich: 3 slices of brown bread 3 rashers of good lean bacon Encona hot pepper sauce 2 eggs Handful of alfalfa sprouts For the dressing: 3 tbsps E.V. Olive oil 1/2 tsp English mustard 1/2 tsp runny honey 2 tbsps lemon juice 1 tsp cider vinegar 1 small clove of garlic A pinch of dried mixed herbs Salt and pepper to season To make the dressing add all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until blended. Dress the sprouts and toss until thoroughly coated. Grill the bacon. While it is grilling, toast and butter the bread, coating one slice on both sides.  Fry two eggs, sunny side up. On the first slice, place one egg, splash hot sauce on the yolk then carefully break it and stir the mix over the white of the egg. Layer bacon and dressed sprouts on...

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His and hers brunchathon

His and hers brunchathon

By on Mar 19, 2013 in Food, Recipes | 1 comment

So I met these cool kids over on Twittah who are into like food and stuff, right? So like they ask me hey, Phil you wanna hang out? I’m like, you serious? That would be totally awesome. They’re like hell yeah we can cook and stuff and write, so obvs I’m totes all over it like a cat on catnip and they’re like hey how about we do brunch as a topic (not a Topic as brunch cos that would be sooo lame) anyways I’m like sure why not let’s do this thing and hey how about we hashtag it brunchathon so they’re like damn you’re good. (I think I need to lie down now). Anyways you get the gist or sorry is it D-Lo which sounds like a sweetener? Well anyway, that was fun. *regains composure* Brunch, let’s be honest, is a meal that’s often eaten when you’re hung over, hence the late awakening, to which end I figure a brunch needs to be at least somewhat healthy, whilst also a carb-fix and contain something to soak up last night’s sins. Definitely it needs eggs. Bacon is a must for me. I also tend to favour a combination of sweet and savoury, as the body needs both salt and sugar to balance things out and give you an energy boost. So to my first #brunchathon recipe: Spelt flour muffins with spices and dark beer, mushroom omelette with Parmeggiano and cured bacon with maple syrup. I split the muffin mix in two and replaced the dark beer with cardamom milk, effectively creating a his and hers batch. For the muffins: 325g peeled and cored apples Juice of a lemon 120g Spelt flour (or wholemeal if no Spelt is available) 120g plain flour 75g rolled oats 3 tsps baking powder 50g sultanas 1.5 tsps ground ginger 1 tsp freshly grated root ginger 2 tsps cinnamon 3 tsps mixed spice 1/2 tsp salt zest of a lemon 110g soft brown sugar 150 ml Theakstons Old Peculier (or other dark beer, porter or stout) 110 ml sunflower oil 2 eggs. If you wish to substitute cardamom milk for beer you simply need to lightly toast and crush 4 cardamom pods and soak...

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Dietology. Crock of pap, or sensible Susan?

Dietology. Crock of pap, or sensible Susan?

By on Jan 15, 2013 in Drink, Food, health, Recipes, Restaurants, Travel | 4 comments

Ok, I have a confession to make. I’m no dietician. However once a year I haplessly join the gormless brigade of detoxing numpties, to ritualistically starve my already lean body, merely to add fuel to the fire of gloating that burns within my belly. Adopting a posture akin to a Regency dandy, haughty and high, nose in the air as I regale those poor tubby souls with tales of slenderness, purity and restraint, riding the high horse to the top of the hill, demonstratively spurning the doughnut, the cheese toastie, the succulent roast beef and the steaming sticky toffee pudding with custard OH MY GOD I’M SO HUNGRY I COULD DIE!!!! It’s day eleven or twelve or whatever, I don’t know I’ve given up counting; all I can think about is indulgence. The first few days weren’t too difficult. Every radish or stick of celery was loaded with meaning, each crunchy bite of wholesome superfood (it has negative calories you know – well whoopie-doo, so does air but you don’t order an oxygen burger!) seemed to spell dietary success. It genuinely does give one a feeling of achievement to omit so many pleasures – alcohol, sugary foods, fatty and fried foods, red meat, wheat, dairy and anything else that represents happiness. Cut to shot of man sobbing into watermelon slice. The regime consists of fresh fish, fruit and vegetables and a little poultry. Grains are permitted so long as it’s not wheat. Potatoes are a no-no (starch, bad, nice, bad starch, naughty starch) but a small portion of rice once a day is allowed, like in Prisoner of War camps, you know? I eat rice crackers like I’m a size  zero model chick. With brazen Metro-sexual macho liberal tweedy twottiness I munch those poxy rice puffs like my lowly subjugate life depends on it. Cucumber, ooh yes please no I mustn’t, not another baton I’ll explode (please God). It doesn’t come easily. Could you tell? Naturally this exaggeration is for comic effect, and the porpoise of this post, man, is to deliver letters. Sorry, foodless fog of the noggin. This recipe is not only delicious but very healthy and figures in my detox plan. On the west side of Ko Pan...

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