Monday, 7 March 2011

Pre -Spring Blues

Feeling down, no inspiration. The lack of inspiration. How I hate it. Just waiting for spring to arrive. First time this morning when we didn't have to turn the lights on when the kids got out of bed. So it must be coming soon then.
The buds are breaking on the trees as well, the sun was shining, a beautiful aroma of crispy frost hanging over our garden as I fired up the Beast, blowing dirty exhaust fumes over the pipling daffs and crocuses on the front lawn.

Whilst roaring up the A2 I pondered the week to come and wondered when we'd get the newsletter from our vegetable suppliers to inform us that Jersey Royals are on their way. What better to go with those small, firm, buttery, minted globes of loveliness than some milk-fed baby lamb cutlets (Baaaaah!)

Surely the thought of all these new ingredients coming into season should fill me up with love and passion for what I do. Still got no inspiration though.

My favourites coming up: asparagus from late April / early May, wild garlic for our shoelace pasta with white truffle, and freshly poached and picked brown crab from our favourite supplier, Colchester Oyster Fisheries.

But it's Shrove Tuesday tomorrow, Pancake Day or Mardi Gras in proper hot countries where the party starts and finishes at dawn, everyone wears bikinis, even the lady boys, and cold beer is drunk like water.

Best recipe for pancakes:
200g plain flour, 1/2 pint of milk, 2 eggs, zest of lemon, 25g melted butter. Whisk it all up and whack them in a proven pan one by one. The thinner the better, however you can't beat my Mum's 3 inch pancakes just served with lemon and caster sugar. That's a traditional one, but try my Banoffe pancake instead.

Boil an unopened tin of condensed milk in a big pan of water for 4 hours. Leave to cool and open. What's inside is a caramelised brown jelly. Slice some banana, lay the slices on the pancake with a couple of spoonfulls of your cooked condensed milk. Roll and eat. Delicious.

Some of the best recipes are the easiest!

Just thinking about them has cheered me up. I'm full of it again.


The Lionheart

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

I'm back! I've been foraging in the forests and found myself lost, both spiritually and physically.

And now I've found myself again and am back with a vengeance.

It is said that man cannot live on bread and water alone. Never a truer word spoken.

After a harsh winter, breaking record figures at Gow's, it was time for me and the monkey-butler to spread our wings and see what else is out there in the pusuit of happiness. So we loaded up the jalopy on Saturday night and headed for deepest, darkest Greenwich Village - cooking in a penthouse suite for a group of happy flappers.

We were greeted by a bunch of beautiful people dressed in 20's outfits, waiting to experience and enjoy amazing food, fantastic service and loads of illicit booze - no prohibition here!

Being educational as well as committed to wowing the senses of taste, smell and texture (don't mind if I do), we paired 2 wines with each course. The debate was evenly matched with the Seared Foie Gras, Brioche and Calvados Apple Sauce to begin - half the room adamant that Sauternes was the finest pairing, the other up in arms that those sweet-wine loving infidels couldn't see the merits of a Blancs de Blancs vintage champagne from Ayala.

After a night of Cab Calloway and as the evening drew to a close, we packed our old kits bags, dirty washing and leftovers into the back of the jalopy, smiled, waved and went our way into the dark night of Old London Town.

4 days later the butler's car still stinks of garlic and rosemary Parmentier potatoes, oyster shells and spilled brandy.

Constructuve criticism for our first event? Too much food and charge more for our efforts! Music to our ears.

Anyone else want to book us in?


The Lionheart
Wednesday 9th February 2011