Pub grub at the Puzzle

Lunch was at the Puzzle on Westminster’s Horseferry Road. It has outside tables and ample inside ones, and has a sort of puzzle theme with prominent quiz nights. They have overhauled the menu to very good effect, and there is now a tapas section as well. I had the vodka and lime fish goujons — […]

The youthful brain diet

The Daily Express has a fantastic headline and front page splash (not on line, alas). It’s about the diet that keeps the brain youthful. To keep your brain young and supple, they tell you that you need a diet rich in (wait for it) oats, fish, red wine, berries, and the like. The advice comes […]

Variations on a theme by Jackie

I was so tempted by Jackie’s paprika chicken with cannellini beans that I decided to give it a go. I followed her recipe faithfully for the first half, cutting chicken breast into broad strips and flash frying before a generous dusting of paprika, then adding lemon juice. I did the onions and garlic, too. Then […]

Surprising Sauvignon

The other day, I had the bizarre misfortune to be served a French wine. At least, I expected a misfortune, as usually, for the same money, it’s not nearly as good as the New World varieties. However, this 2005 Petit Bourgeois was excellent. Fresh and crisp, subtly citrussy, slightly grassy and with a long finish […]

Marmite — no half ways

I had scrambled eggs on a muffin. Sunflower spread & milk heated in the saucepan while the muffin is split and toasted. Two large free-range eggs, stirred in with wooden spatula. Then, crucially, while still runny, take it off the heat and rest it for a minute. Then resume. This gives it a fluffier texture. […]

The perfectionist’s diet

Watermelon Originally uploaded by dynamist. Despite the fact that I ate a lot of junk while in America recently, I seem to have lost more weight. This is a good thing, and kept me running around and out of the pub this holiday weekend. (It’s funny that I should avoid temptation and exercise more when […]

The niçoise was nice

I started lunch by whipping up a semi-bogus tomato soup. The half can of chopped tomatoes was simmered with a vegetable stock cube and a mug of boiling water. Everyone adds basil to tomatoes, so I added marjoram. After ten minutes I added a big squirt of tomato purée and then put it in the […]

Chunky vegetable soup

Chunky vegetable soup Originally uploaded by dynamist. As I mentioned in passing, the juices left over from the cabbage and mince that Antoine made us for lunch were too good to waste. I used them to cook chopped onion, carrot slices, and cabbage for this vegetable soup. Once the onions were soft, I added some […]

Exbrayat’s cabbage and mince

Exbrayat’s cabbage and mince Originally uploaded by dynamist. This cabbage and mince recipe comes from my fiancé’s grandfather, Charles Exbrayat. Exbrayat was President of the international federation of the gastronomic and oenocological press, and received the Order of the Mérite Agricole for his work in promoting French food, so this is one recipe I can […]

Tart with two goat’s cheeses

I decided to reverse engineer one of those succulent goat’s cheese tarts which I sometimes choose at restaurants. The base was puff pastry rolled very thin into a circle. Leaving about half an inch at the edges, I lined the rest with thin strips of a hard goat’s cheese. On top of it I spread […]

O felix culpa!

Religion aside…  Having done nothing all day except watch TV, feel unemployed and check my Internet I went to the pub.      The Idea was just to have one or two but fate was against us and we won £20, YES £20, on the Quiz machine so we stayed for (we’re not entirely sure) 5 or […]

English champagne? Surely not, what what?

Last evening, I tried a very interesting new champagne from England (believe it or not). Called Nyetimber and from 1998, it recently won the prize of the best champagne in the entire world produced outside the Champagne region of France. It’s described as Classic Cuvee, is 12% (about normal) and uses the traditional grapes of […]