Tuesday, 27 October 2009
I have be disgraced into starting blogging again after I found a forum recommending my site even though I'd stopped. Anyway, a lot has happened since my last blog on 22nd April 2009. I've finished in Cardiff and am no longer a student :( and also not working fulltime as a composer - double :(
On the up side I am working as a freelance yacht skipper and also doing composing work on the side whenever someone has a mad moment and forgets about the current financial crisis!
I promise to continue blogging my frugal ways of cooking, and hopefully with my job I might be blogging from all 4 corners of the world...
Hope you're all well
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Thursday, 19 March 2009
Whilst slightly tipsy thanks to an afternoon of St. Paddys day drinking a mate bet that I couldn't make a decent meal from what is on the reduced counter at our local Tesco Express. Unfortunately the counter was rather bare (literally all there was were some chicken breasts, a pack of broccoli and some bacon) so the meal is a bit boring... however I'm planning to do this regularly so hopefully it'll turn out some more interesting combinations!
Chicken in a Cheddar and Bacon Sauce with Broccoli and Sweetcorn.
I just poached the chicken then made the cheese sauce my usual way and added small pieces of fried bacon... EASY!
Sorry the pic is a bit rubbish, my friend has borrowed my SLR so had to use my phone!
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Friday, 6 March 2009
- Take your breast and flip it over
- Chop off the flappy bit of meat as shown below
- Slice the breast open (as shown below again) and open up
- Coat in crack pepper (or what ever you want to put on it)
- Cook in a pre-heated oven at 200c for 15-20mins
My knife is a bit blunt so it really hashed up cutting it into strips!
Anyway this was the finished product
Got to get to bed though have a lot of portfolio work to get through in the morning!
P.S - I forgot to mention in my last blog GBK have a buy one get one free offer at the mo (mon to thurs - runs out the end of the month) click here to print the voucher.
Thursday, 26 February 2009
Last week was a very long week, I had to juggle composing my opera with celebrating my twenty-something birthday... I know, it's a hard life! With it being so chaotic I didn't have time to cook even one meal, so spent most meal times in either a pub, restaurant or greasy spoon cafe. So I thought, rather then write a blog about what "I" cooked, I'll do one about what I didn't cook.
Day 1 (my twenty-something Birthday)
It has become somewhat of a birthday tradition with my mates for us to head to our local greasy spoon called Daiquiri's (now I know a place named after an alcoholic drink is never a good place for breakfast but stay with me...) for breakfast.
This place is truly amazing, in the morning it's a quality breakfast joint, as the day wares on it become an even better Mexican bar/restaurant. The food here is 2nd to none for the price range, with a full English (and half pint of orange juice) cooked to perfection for £4.50 how can you go wrong?! The thick bacon is grilled not fried, the beans are Heinz not some cheapo make and the sausages and pretty damn good too.
In the evening I went out for a meal with my housemates & co. and after a bit of faffing about ended up in one of Cardiff's two new "Wagamama's". Now I was quite excited because several mate have been raving about this chain. When I got there I was somewhat confused as I didn't really fancy soup... was kinda stuck! Anyway after trying to workout what everything was I settled for the "Salmon Ramen" - noodles in a pork and chicken spiced miso soup topped with a grilled fillet of salon, seasonal greens, menma, spring onions, wakame and carrots. garnished with mixed sesame seeds. Now I must say I really like the flavours of this dish, but because it is just one HUGE bowl of it and nothing else I felt it became a bit sameish. For desert I shared (now that is showing my age) the White Chocolate and Ginger Cheese Cake... YUMMY!
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it and will be going back sometime, I just don't rave about it!
The whole day was washed down with some sublime cocktails in local bar Milgi. I had - from what I remember:
- Fruit Salad Martini - taste just like the sweets!
- Espresso & Vanilla Daiquiris - the sophisticated vodka red bull. The Sailor Jerry's gives a great Vanilla twist whilst the three coffee beans placed on top really finish off the presentation.
- Organic Milgo Mojito - which is: Muddled organic basil, lime, gin, lychee liqueur & elderflower sugar. Sounds random but is sooooo refreshing.
One of my sisters came down for the party so we went out for a meal before hand. Unfortunately Pizza Express was rather busy so we headed up to the new GBK (Gormet Burger Kitchen - right next to Wagamama) which was another first for me. As per neither I nor my sister could decided on what to have, luckily we were both torn between the same two burgers:
- Pesterella - 100% Aberdeen Angus Scotch Beef Burger, pesto, mozzarella, salad and relish.
- Chicken, Camembert and Cranberry
Thursday, 19 February 2009
In an attempt to finish off my fresh pasta before I go training up north this weekend so went to a recipie I learnt when working in a gastro pub.
Meatballs in Tomato and Chilli Sauce and Pasta
I used my usual Tomato and Chilli Sauce and cooked the pasta as I always do, but the meatballs is a first for this blog!
Serves 2 (6-8 meatballs)
- 120g lean beef mince
- 120g pork mince
- 2 tablespoons of fine bread crumbs
- 1/2 small onion,finely chopped
- 1 medium egg
- 2 table spoons of water
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 pinches of black pepper
- Mix all indgredients together and form in balls about 2" in diameter
- Place on grill pan and grill on high for about 12-15min turning regularly
- Put in pan with sauce and warm through
- Serve with pasta
Anyway, got to keep this short as I have a lot of work still to do... oh the joys of being a student :(
Wednesday, 18 February 2009
- 3 large tomatoes
- a large pinch of freshly chopped basil
- 2 Tablespoons of Mascarpone Cheese
- a small pinch of salt
- Blend the tomatoes
- stir in the basil and salt
- Melt the Mascarpone on a low heat
- Add the tomato and simmer for 3-mins
- Fresh Pasta
- A hand full broccoli broken into small sprigs
- 2 Salmon fillets
- Put the salmon in the microwave (I know I'm usually anit-micro waving, but it really does cook salmon very well) for about 2mins 30sec (750watts)
- Whilst the salmon is cooking cook the pasta (with a pinch of salt and a drip of cooking oil) and broccoli in the same pan. If you use fresh pasta this should work out just the right amount of time to keep the broccoli nice crunchy and full of flavor. If you're not using fresh pasta add the broccoli for the final 1 min.
- Once the salmon is finished break into chunks, mix with sauce and warm through slowly.
Tuesday, 17 February 2009
Well it's been a very long time I last blogged and I really do miss it so I decided to kick things off again and keep my blog alive!
Dissertation boredom and final project insanity is starting to kick in so today I decided to try something I've seen on a few blogs recently - "5 min Cake". Much to my disgust my local Tesco doesn't sell "Cocoa Powder" so I've adapted the recipe and tried out a few flavours. We've experimented and adapted the method to come up with what we think is a rather good formula:
- 4 Tablespoons of normal flour
- 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
- 4 Tablespoons of Sugar
- 2 Pinches of Salt
- 1 Egg
- 4 Tablespoons of Milk
- 3 Tablespoons cooking oil
- Flavour of your choice!
- Mix Flour, Baking Powder, Sugar, Salt and you chosen flavour in a large mug.
- Add the egg and lightly mix.
- Pour in the Milk and Oil, and mix well.
- Put in Microwave at full power (750watts) for 3mins.
- Let stand for 30secs.
- Empty onto plate and eat straight away!
This cake was nuked for 4mins which was too long as the texture was rather rubbery, and we only put in half a tea spoon of baking powder making it rather heavy.
By now we'd learnt out lesson about over nuking and using too little baking powder. For the vanilla and Raisin we put in some vanilla extract and raisins into the mix. This made a beautiful texture and flavour.
In retrospect we should of used more nutella as the taste wasn't strong enough...
These cakes are great quick and easy to make, I can see them becoming a drunken munchies snack in my house!
Watch this space for more flavours and the continuation of my blog!
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
How rubbish has the weather been this summer?! I can't remember the last day we had the resembled anything like summer but today dreadful, I daren't leave the house as I risk coming home looking like a drowned rat due to a sharp shower. I offered to cook for the family this week which gave me an excuse to use my new Spanks products.
This is a pub classic dish which is so easy to make, but what makes this dish is the choice of ingredients.
4 Free range Chicken Breasts
2 Balls of fresh white mozzarella (sliced)
4 slices of Waitrose Palmer Ham (really spelt Parma Ham)
Spanks 'Gents Sauce'
Preheat oven to 200c. Once the oven is heated, place a slice of Palmer Ham (Parma Ham) on top of each chicken breast and put in oven for 30mins. Take out of oven and lightly over the ham in Gents Sauce. Cover each breast with the sliced mozzarella and grill 'till it has melted covering the whole breast.
Serve with seasonal veg.
Although the directions on the bottle of gents sauce says it goes well with strong cheese when used lightly in this dish it really helps bring out some awesome flavours.
For afters we had various cheeses with water biscuits and crackers. I used this opertunity to get out my other new spanks product "Apple, Raisin & Walnut Chutney". I'm not normally a big fan of chutney, nor am I a fan of cooked apple but this version really did take me by suprise. So much so we nearly finished off the whole jar in one night.
Anyway, I've also gone through a bottle of Spanks Tangy Tomato Ketchup in the past week but that's a story for another post!
P.S The Gents Sauce is a great hangover cure with grilled cheese on toast!
Monday, 18 August 2008
It's been a frantic couple of weeks with me going on holiday then my computer quite literally blowing up! Anyway, I'm back now and loving following the Olympics.
I made this a few weeks ago using what I could find in the fridge...
Chicken and Chili Tomato Pasta
I made the sauce with cherry tomatoes as I love the sweet flavour of them in a sauce. Basically, boil 300g of cherry tomatoes per portion needed. I know it's a lot but they really do reduce quite a lot. Once the skins start to come loose drain and mash! Keep simmering...
Fry off chopped onion, chili, garlic and pepper then add to tomato sauce. Fry your desired meat (in my case Chicken) and add to sauce. Add spinach for the final 30secs of cooking. Season to taste and serve with pasta.
This is a very simple dish but full of flavour.
I've just taken delivery of lots of new Spanks products so expect some exotic recipes very soon!
P.S Oh, please can everyone watch "Last Choir Standing" and vote for "Only Men Aloud"... I'm close mates with about half of the lads, and I feel they really do deserve to win!
Friday, 11 July 2008
Whilst looking at my visitor stats earlier I noticed an huge increase in international readers for my blog. As I looked at all the different nations I thought "What is the national dish of New Zealand?!" This gave me the idea to once a week attempt a different national dish, but I need your help!
Please can everyone leave a comment (or send me an e-mail) saying:
1) What country you come from
2) What you consider to be your national dish.
I will then work my way through this list week by week.
Hope to hear from you all soon!
Thursday, 10 July 2008
As promised I am writing my 2nd blog of the day. However after deciding what to make for the starter circumstances changed and I was told to fend for myself on the condition I only used food in the fridge, rather then opting for the easy way out and heading straight for the freezer.
After looking at a nearly empty fridge for about 10mins I made one of my healthy favourites:
Cajun Salmon Caesar Salad (without anchovies because there weren't any in the fridge...!)
Pinch of salt
a squirt of lemon juice
half a teaspoon of parmesan cheese
some crack pepper
2 teaspoon cottage cheese (this is my own personal twist, some people don't like this!)
This is a simple way to whip up a quick Caesar sauce:
Whip the Cream, salt and lemon juice together. One the mixture thickens a little mix in the rest of the ingredients.
The Rest of the Dish
Pre-oven to 200C, take a Salmon Fillet and dust with Cajun seasoning and place in pre-heated oven for 15-20mins (depending on size). Whilst the Salmon is in the oven make your salad...
I used half a baby gem lettuce, peppers, cucumber and baby tomatoes. With the baby gem Lettuce I tossed in a drip of Farrington's "Blackberry and Vinegar Dressing". I was introduced to this dressing by my sister sometime ago but haven't been able to buy it as it was only sold local to her. However much to my delight, last week my local Waitrose started selling it along side there other new British produce. Yet another success story for real British cottage industry food mixing it with the big boys!
Anyway back to the dish in question... make salad on a baby gem base and add sauce. Sit down and enjoy!
I'll blog again very soon - promise.
I was browsing the newly redesigned Tastespotting.com and I spotted a post about the following invention:
Ladies and Gentleman I am proud to present the "Gourmet on a Grant Worst Food and Drink Gadget 2008 Award" to -
Wine Glass Holder Necklace
Now I can sort of see the point if you're speed-wine tasting (like speed-dating but with wine. I'm sure they must do it in a America, if not I'm claiming the idea) and walking from table to table with the same glass whilst trying to write in your note pad. However the website is trying to sell it as a dinner party accessorise?!
"Keep your hands free at parties by keeping your wine close at heart! This clever little clip with adjustable strap holds a regular-size stemmed glass to your chest, giving you the freedom to snack and socialize as you sip!" wineenthusiast.com
No prizes for guessing in what country the website is based that is trying to sell this gadget to make stuffing your face with free canapés easier!
Also, isn't this invention particularly a bad idea for all you white wine drinkers out there? The glass will have more contact with your body, therefore warming your previously perfectly chilled measure of wine...
Anyway, must dash as I have the night off work tonight so I told Mum that I'd make a starter (which I will blog, honest) to go with the salmon that she's cooking for dinner tonight. Haven't even thought of what to make... Good job our Tesco is 24hrs!
Friday, 4 July 2008
Firstly I better start off with a HUGE apology as I haven't blogged for over a month... It's been a stupidly busy time for me recently, and because I'm living at home I don't cook as much as I do when I'm at uni.
Anyway, today I started a new part time job in a little restaurant called "Michael's". I initially applied for a job as waiting staff but they noticed on my CV that I had some kitchen experience so they offered me a job as Sous Chef. I obviously bit their hand off as the Chef -Patron (Michael Wichmann - it gets a bit confusing as myself the other assistant chef and the the chef-patron are called Mike) has worked at some of the worlds leading restaurants and has a couple of Michelin stars under his belt.
Well I thoroughly enjoyed my first shift and is by far the best kitchen I've worked in to date, all the food is prepared from fresh produce and there isn't a freezer in sight! I only took a picture of my first copy cat creation (Michael's signature desert) Chocolate Moose. Basically homemade white and milk chocolate mouse stacked and sandwiched between thin wafers of dark chocolate with a few raspberries thrown in for good measure. My decoration could do with a bit of work but I was generally pleased with this first attempt...
If anyone is up in Birkdale in the coming weeks for the British Golf Open it's well worth booking a seat in this great little place for some fantastic food (I know I'm a wee bit bias but hey!).
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Firstly I need to say a HUGE sorry for not posting of a while, but I've been über busy over the past month and haven't had the chance to cook anything new or exciting besides the odd BBQ!
Well, last night a mate invited me around to his house again and yet again he couldn't be bothered cooking so I had free range of his kitchen and ingredients. Unfortunately the only meat I could find was a Tesco bag of frozen fish quite ominously labelled "White Fish" and of which the ingredients were "White fish, water".
Now we're no sure what the fish was but it was quite nice considering...
Considering the lack of meat the cupboards were stocked quite well for veg so I ended up doing some roasted Med Veg with an orange and dill sauce. Now I know orange is never normally served with fish but it really did work well.
Cooking the fish
Especially when cooking from frozen I find the best way to fillets of fish is to blast them in the microwave for 1min 30s each side with a knob of butter and seasoning onto (obviously the timing is dependant on what power microwave you have and the sixe of the fillet) then I seal the pieces off by very quickly pan frying them.
The Med Veg
Med Veg is really very simple. Simple dice your veg (I usually use red & white onions, peppers, cherry tomatoes, courgettes, carrots and button mushrooms) in to big pieces and put into a deep roasting tray. Chop some tarragon and sprinkle over the veg, and then cover in olive oil. Put into a pre-heated oven at 200c and leave to roast for 20-25mins stirring at regular intervals.
Don't worry about making too much as it is always nice to eat the next day cold, and especially in a ciabatta roll with green pesto.
For the sauce I thought I'd experiment a bit by blending olive oil, with a bit of orange juice, Bols Orange Liqueur and some Dill and heating slowly in a pan. This was the most simple and impromptu sauce I've ever done but it really tasted great!
Yet again my mates were please with the ready steady cook style meal I cooked for them, I think it helped the meal was washed down with a nice bottle of Wolf Blass.
Wednesday, 21 May 2008
As well as doing the Cardiff Half Marathon in October I'm also doing a Jailbreak next month...
This is how it works:
In a team of 3, we have to get as far away from RAF Woodvale (nr Liverpool) and back again in 60hrs without spending a single penny!
We get points for every mile travelled, task completed and pound donated. So, the further we get and more we rasie for "Cash for Kids" the better the chance we have of beating the 9 other competing teams!
So please visit our online donation page to help us on our way. Also if anyone has any contacts in the commercial aviation field as we are trying to blag a flight out of the country...
You can also follow our progress on our Jailbreak blog.
I promise to blog some food again soon :p
Monday, 19 May 2008
Just a quick blog to say sorry! I've been stupidly busy with composing and a part time job and seriously haven't had the time to cook anything blog worthy...
Although evenone at work keeps commenting on how adventurous my lunchboxes are!
Hope everyone is ok
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
As mentioned in previous blogs I'm doing a half marathon in October. Well training is in full swing now and I can comfortably run longer distances, all I need to do is bring the pace up to race speed... I'm at my parents this week so I have nothing to do so I'm going to have a go at a 9 mile run. When I was younger I was a member in the GBR Youth Sailing Squads and this taught me all I need to know about pre-event nutrition so I'm applying the same rules to my running, so for my lunch today I made a high slow release carb meal with a bit of saturated fat to help.
The theory is if I have this meal about 90-mins before I go on the run the carbs will start releasing energy shortly after I start and will keep releasing them throughout the run. I'll also take some bananas with me as a source of quick release carb.
Anyway enough of the nutrition babble...
Bacon, Mushroom, Chilli & Tomato Pasta
Now it doesn't take a genius to workout how i made this one!
Fry all together whilst the pasta is cooking!
Anyway, my 90-mins is up. Better go on this run :(