Normally, I’d have a natural yoghurt with a few nuts and seeds in it. This time, I was given a vast array of things to choose from, so I did the usual yoghurt, and to this I added some cottage cheese, thus firming up the base texture a little. On top of this, I added some hazelnuts and some pumpkin seeds. There were also some sliced, dried bananas alongside, so I put a few of those on, too. It’s actually very filling, and ridiculously healthy. I also had some pomegranate juice alongside, which I’m told contains all kinds of mysterious and wonderful vitamins. Later, a Marmite tea.
Archive for July, 2009
This particular savoy cabbage had clearly seen better days and was looking rather sorry for itself. Whilst I set about shredding it finely, I set a sweet potato on to boil. I mashed the potato together with milk, pepper, and a small pinch of salt and mixed it together before stirring in the cabbage.
At the same time, I prepared a salmon fillet: in foil, finely sliced red onions. Then the salmon (skinned,) topped with more onions and a spoon or two of capers. Fold the foil over to make a parcel and it’s ready to go. I’d preheated the oven to 190C and put the salmon in for 25 minutes. I piled the cabbage/sweet potato mix onto a sheet of tin foil and pressed it down a little – 25 minutes ensued that was cooked through.
The salmon was, unsurprisingly, excellent with the capers adding an extra dimension. The cabbage was, surprisingly, really good. Soft, for the most part, with crispy bits to the tops and edges, and the sweetness of the potato bringing it together. I’ll try it again with my next cabbage, but use more potato then.
Quite close to where I stay in Nice is l’Ousteau, a corner brasserie not far from the train station, and 7 or 8 minutes walk from the sea. It has good seafood, with an outside display case of the day’s goodies on crushed ice. However, both myself and my dining companion opted for pizzas, consumed at an outside table on a warm evening.
I had the Reine pizza, while my fellow-diner went for the Fruits de Mer. Both were in the ‘excellent’ category, and were washed down by the Provence rosé which features everywhere.
Take a look at the pizza knives they gave us to eat them with – very practical. We finished the evening with a Havana cigar apiece as we finished the wine.
We were at the Chop House again, and the wine was The Opportunist again. I went for the Venison Pâté again, and it was as good as before. My friend ordered from the specials board for her starter: the duck parcel. It was a large filo pastry parcel, filled with plenty of dark duck meat. Absoloutely delicious, was the verdict.
We both hit the specials board for main courses. I went, for the first time in a while, for the suet pudding: beef and game this time, and she for the pork fillet with wild mushroom mashed potatoes. Both, we concluded, were excellent. The pudding had a fantastic thin suet crust and a packed filling – plenty of steak and big chunks of game – and a side dish of potatoes and vegetables. The pork was tasty and moist, and the mushrooms added an excellent texture to the mash. An enjoyable evening, as always.
It would not be a new observation to make that as one gets older ones tastes change, refine, and anew. We eat new things, drinks new spirits, inhale a different type of cigar. Some we enjoy, others we hate, a few simply are.
It is recently dawning on me that these new experiences tend to enrich ones life and impoverish ones bank. Surprisingly enough that new spice, chocolate or wine you discovered and enjoyed more than previous ones also comes with a higher price tag. The higher price tag being one of the possible reasons it has so far remained outside the knowledge of your palate.
It is with a mixture of enjoyment and dismay that I have recently been sampling a range of coffees from Sea Island Coffees Ltd of Walton Street, London. I have four packets of their range of exotic coffees and have drunk a cup or two. It will be hard to return to regular coffee beans, much like it would be hard to return to a cheap wine after a fine one.
I am begining to understand why people are desirous of “the finer things in life”. An expression I have hitherto though of as pretentious, pointless and most frequently used in classified adverts by women who seek a man to enjoy “the finer..” with.
I will attempt, like an alcoholic sampling a Chateau Y’Quem 1950 or Margaux 1945, to try and give you a sense of the differences between the various coffees I have in future posts. I hope to go beyond “it’s very nice” – although they all are.
A Scandinavian restaurant in Nice? Yes, and a good one. It’s on the Rue Marechal Joffre, a few minutes walk from the sea. It does French food as well, to cater for local tastes, but the dish to go for is the “Symphony of seafood,” a mixture of the various Scandinavian fish dishes.
There was smoked salmon, gravadlax, smoked halibut, pickled herring (the sweet kind), and Danish caviar on boiled egg. There was a dill sauce to dip stuff in. and a mercifully brief salad of tomatoes, onion rings and chopped cucumber sticks.
The décor features an unusual wine-rack hanging in the middle of the wall.
Capers, the preserved buds of Capparis spinosa, are a traditional accompaniment to salmon – smoked or otherwise – and are a particular favourite of mine.
That said, I don’t normally have them at home because they’re ludicrously expensive to buy – quite a few pounds for a very small jar.
All that changed for me in the Fortnums sale – a large jar of their lilliput capers, preserved in brine and vinegar – for just £1. The reason? A shortened use-by date, but that doesn’t really bother me…
They’re very good, and very small, and went excellently in smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches.
The brasserie on the corner of Rue de France and Rue Dalpozzo has changed owners and changed names. It used to serve excellent seafood, enticing customers in with an ice tray outside packed with the seafood on offer within. Now it’s called Trattoria, and still offers seafood, but with an extensive range of pastas and pizzas as well. I ordered the fritto mixte (alias fritto misto), and tackled a plateful of whitebait, squid, and langoustines. There was more than I could eat, and it was pleasant enough. But I’d have liked to see mussels, scallops and pieces of white fish as well, with about a third of the quantity of whitebait.
In the Chop House before dinner, I opted for a pint of the excellent cask ales. Following my usual “something I’ve not had before” I opted for the 3.9% Summer Ale.
It’s from Tydd Steam, in Tydd St Giles in Cambridgeshire, and was a a pale golden colour. It’s a fairly light and summery session ale, with a mild citrus taste – a good pre-dinner beer.
I’d not encountered Tydd Steam before, but they only started up in 2007. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for more of their beers in the future.
I was sitting outside but in the shade at the Bar de la Degustation in Nice’s Place de Palais (de Justice). I was enjoying a cool beer when I heard the unmistakable strains of a jazz band. No, it wasn’t piped music, for into the square strolled four musicians playing jazz. They were advertising a local jazz festival. They seemed quite good, and stayed a few minutes to entertain diners and drinkers sitting at the various restaurants and bars, before strolling off in the direction of the promenade. They certainly added entertainment to the beer.