Five-a-day lamb casserole

Actually it could be six vegetables if green and red peppers are counted separately.  There were peppers (green and red), purple onion, courgettes, mushrooms and carrots (par-boiled for 8 minutes).  I chopped up lamb leg steaks and seared them in oil to seal in the juices and flavour.  I added half a pint of seasoned […]

Pinot noir

I have been trying pinot noir from a variety of countries recently, and quite often scan a wine list to see if there’s a pinot noir, preferably a New World one.  It is the red wine grape of Burgundy, now used worldwide.  Its name derives from the pine-shaped bunches of grapes that the vine produces.  […]

Final BBQ

We gave Mike a good send-off after 8 years and 3 degrees at Cambridge.  He is now Dr Mike, and we celebrated with one last BBQ.  We had Lincolnshire sausages, quarter pounders, and vegetable skewers.  We drank a New Zealand pinot noir and a Penfold’s shiraz cabernet.  Finally there was my English summer pudding, and […]


Seafood and steak on the plate is something I used to like in the States.  Surf and turf, often with lobster and fillet steak, but sometimes with jumbo shrimp and sirloin, was a regular favourite.  At Cote I had them on separate dishes, but the principle was similar. One course was breaded calamari, done nicely […]

Cheese tart and lambs liver

The Chop House never disappoints.  This time I began with the leek, red Leicester & Cornish blue tart.  It was simply correct.  It is how a cheese tart should be. For my main course I ordered lambs liver, garlic & thyme potato cake, with braised peas sand bacon.  There was, of course, delicious, but more […]

Mushrooms and pesto on toast

I bought a large field mushroom on the market.  I chopped it into quite small pieces and cooked it in a mixture of oil and butter in a non-stick pan (the oil stops the butter from burning), adding garlic.  I toasted two pieces of wholemeal bread and spread them with green pesto before putting the […]

Boisdale and cigars

Four of us dined at Boisdale in Belgravia. I began with the Loch Duart gravadlax, with a dill & sweet mustard dressing.  It was completely delicious. I went in to enjoy an uncharacteristic vegetarian dish at this most carnivore friendly restaurant.   I had field mushrooms, spinach and fennel strudel with basil pesto.  Again, quite excellent.  […]

Seabass and sauvignon

The seabass looked decidedly as if the heat had been overdone.  It was served correctly skin side up, but with black scorch marks on the skin. No problem, though, because it was perfectly cooked.  It was moist and tender. At the Loose Box on Horseferry Road we often have the Boor’s Kloof chenin blanc, but […]

Yalumba sangiovese rosé

I was at a wine-tasting at the Cork and Bottle, with the focus on rosé wines, appropriately enough for summer.  The two wines I liked best were a Provence rosé which conjured up memories of seafood and sunshine in Nice and Villefranche.  The pleasant surprise was a Yalumba rosé made from sangiovese grapes.  They are […]

Snacks at Daly’s

In between a Radio 4 debate at LSE and a planned meeting at the Old Bank of England pub in Fleet Street, two of us picked on Daly’s Wine Bar and Restaurant in the Strand for a quick bite to eat.  I chose the croque monsieur, which came with a satisfyingly large amount of ham […]

Goat’s cheese and beetroot chutney

The goat’s cheese and beetroot chutney came in sandwiches at the Sanctuary in Tothill Street.  I specified wholegrain bread.  There was one downer, which was that the bread had been left out uncovered, and was marginally dry on the very outside, whereas one wants a nice moist and springy feel to it.  The filling was […]

Finishing the leftovers

There was one fishcake left, so I gave it 16 minutes in a 170 turbo oven, turning it once.  I put frozen peas and green beans in hot water and simmered them during the last three minutes of the fishcake’s cooking time.  I was not a very exciting plateful, but tartare sauce made it palatable. […]