Every home should have one
Sorry, couldn’t find a bigger one.
The Liebster Award was invented to discover new blogs. You can read the history of this award on Sopphy Says
Honoured, I am.
I thought, I had had all the awards doing the circuits on various blogs, it seems I
I have really stopped participating in these awards since I moved from BlogSpot to WordPress, not because I am being churlish, rather that I was extremely disappointed by the response I had to one I participated in; none of my nominees even so much as acknowledged receiving the award.
However, I find myself drawn, however humbly to this one, because it’s different… well a little different.
culprit blogger that lumbered me bestowed this damned thing lovely award upon me was none other than Lord of the Rings drings Drinks. I will do his bidding.
Apparently when you get nominated for the Liebster Award you need to do three things: answer the 11 questions of the one who nominated you, come up with 11 new questions for 11 other bloggers and share 11 random facts about yourself.
I have got to answer the following 11 LOTD questions:
1. What country are you from?
New Zealand, but I forgot where it is… I am a practicing Brazilian now.
2. What’s your age?
I’m a chenior shitizen! That’s close enough.
3. How old were you when you first got drunk?
Hmmm, don’t remember that too well, about 16.
4. What’s your favorite drink?
Oooooh, tricky. Should be gin, my first spirit in the form of a Tom Collins when I was 14.
5. How many units of alcohol (check the graphic) do you approximately drink per week?
Between 3 – 10, normally closer to the lower end of the scale.
6. What kind of drunk are you (angry, sleepy, extra-social, horny, dramatic, dancing, etc.)?
I’m a happy drunk, except like last week when the local bludger biffed my cat in the bar, I biffed him. I can’t stand animals being mistreated, especially my Lixo.
7. Is their any interesting local drinking custom, ritual or game that you can share with us?
Game… hmmm, well not local, but we used to play Colonel Huff as a teenager.
8. Describe your most epic drunk night.
I don’t and never did consider being drunk as ‘epic’, more of an unfortunate consequence.
9. Which drink (or mix) is certain to screw you up?
Tequila! Did last week, got drunk for the first time in 10 years.
10. Got any tips on how to have a good (drunk) night for little money?
We always figured that cider gave you best value % alcohol/cent money. But that was teenagers.
11. Is their a relatively unknown drink you can recommend us?
Benedictine, is grossly underrated. But here in Brazil, it’s like looking for rockinghorse poo!
One that is spreading slowly around the world is a caipirinha from Brazil with cachaça (sugar cane brandy). For pity’s sake don’t be an American and make it with limes, use lemons; lemons in Brazil are green and as soon as Americans see green, they go ‘Limes!’ Wrong, use lemons, even yellow ones are better than limes, although you don’t get the traditional green drink.
You can make a batida (not a caipirinha) with various fruit, in fact, any fruit.
Also, you can make a caipirinha using vodka, but it is not a caipirinha, rather a caipiroska/caipivodka.
Now it’s my time to help you get to know 11 other interesting bloggers.
1. Boy Drinks World
2. Foam Around the World
3. Good Beer, Better Hats
4. Nectar of the Gods
5. The Reverse Wine Snob
OMG! I’ve run out. Well, I haven’t, but the others were already nominated by LOTD. So you get Five great blogs.
I have got the following 11 questions for them:
1. Are you a beer/wine/spirits person?
2. Have you reached the age where room spins are a thing of the past?
3. How old were you when you first drank/tasted an alcoholic drink?
4. What and where was it?
5. Have you ever made a homebrew?
6. What’s the weirdest drink you have ever had?
7. When you travel, do you try to sample as many of the local drinks as possible?
8. Are you a follower of ‘Red wine, red meat, white wine, white meat?
9. What do you drink with a meal?
10. Have you ever done something you regretted while drinking?
11. Do you consider drinks to be a ‘social lubricant’?
Well even if you’re not mentioned in the blogs above, I still would love to hear your answers to my 11 questions. Interesting drinking customs or stories are always highly appreciated.
If you leave a comment with your answers, consider yourself worthy of a posthumous nomination and take the award for your blog.
With an old box, crate or pallet and a bit of imagination, some sandpaper and varnish or stain you can make miracles.
Got some bamboo?
The 10 best cauliflower recipes
We prise the humble cauliflower away from its cheese-sauce comfort zone and explore its uses as a pizza base, in savoury cakes and even as a Persian tortilla
Whole roast cauliflower with cumin, sumac and lemon. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura for the Guardian
Whole roast cauliflower with cumin, sumac and lemon
It’s just a regular, humble, garden cauliflower, but there’s something really exciting about seeing it come out of the oven whole. Think of this as an edible centrepiece to hack away at, cutting chunks off the main stem, throughout your meal.
Click for recipes
Pizza with cauliflower crust
Pizza with cauliflower crust. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura for the Guardian
The aim with a root vegetable crust is to make something crispy that can be eaten by hand, without it falling apart. Many recipes use lots of eggs, but this one opts for cauliflower and goat’s cream cheese. It works well with a slightly different, less cheesy topping.
Cauliflower and pear bake
This dish from Israel makes a fine accompaniment to all roasts and kebabs.
Caramelised cauliflower soup
This is a delightfully textured soup. If you want more richness, replace some of the broth with cream and dress it up with cheese or browned butter. If you halve the broth, you get a nice puree to use as an alternative to mashed potatoes.
Spanish crisp cauliflower. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura for the Guardian
Spanish crisp cauliflower
This is a delightfully textured soup. If you want more richness, replace some of the broth with cream and dress it up with cheese or browned butter. If you halve the broth, you get a nice puree to use as an alternative to mashed potatoes.
This is a Persian kookoo recipe. The word is usually translated as omelette, but it more closely resembles a savoury vegetable cake, very much like a Spanish tortilla, and is delicious eaten hot or cold.
Gratin de chou-fleur
Comté adds a subtle French flavour to this easy-going, comforting dish. If you like, you can spruce it up by flavouring the bechamel with turmeric and adding a handful of chopped hazelnuts to the cauliflower, or by adding truffle juice to the bechamel and sprinkling a few slivers of black truffle amid the florets.
Quinoa, cauliflower and ramsons cakes
In season, ramsons (wild garlic) are the best flavour for these cakes. If you cannot find ramsons, use fresh spinach and add two cloves of crushed garlic.
Black pepper tempeh
This recipe isn’t for the faint of heart; it’s a substantial meal-in-a-pan exploding with spicy, peppery, garlicky, gingery flavours. Finely chop the cauliflower into quick-cooking pieces. If you don’t have coconut oil to hand, use clarified butter or extra virgin olive oil instead.
Roasted cauliflower tart with oat-walnut crust and lemon herb filling
This tart turns roasted cauliflower into a complete meal. The addition of lemon gives it a welcome lift and complements the buttery flavour of toasted walnuts too. Serve it slightly warm or at room temperature with a salad for a perfect spring meal.
Raki on the table
At the moment here in Brazil there is a novela (soap opera) that I enjoy, Salve Jorge, quite a bit takes place in Turkey in both Istanbul and Cappadocia; where the sophisticated Brazilians and Turks are often found sipping raki.
So what is raki?
Raki is considered the national drink of Turkey.
One of the many brands
“An unsweetened, anise-flavored hard alcoholic drink that is popular in Turkey and in the Balkan countries as an apéritif. It is often served with seafood or Turkish meze. It is similar to several other alcoholic beverages available around the Mediterranean, Albanian regions, the Middle East e.g., pastis, ouzo, sambuca, arak, and aguardiente.” – Wikipedia
Traditionally consumed either straight with chilled water on the side or partly mixed with chilled water. Ice cubes are sometimes added.
Dilution with water causes raki to turn a milky-white color like ouzo.
Mezze, with or without drinks, is a selection of small snacks, hot or cold, spicy or savory; they maybe as simple as cubes of white cheese or more sophisticated like walnuts and hot pepper sauce, or meatballs.
Mezzedhes (pl of mezze)
Some restaurants have banned diners taking photographs of their dishes, while others are offering food photography workshops. Do you snap your supper, or is it the height of bad manners?
‘A blurry picture of scrambled eggs on toast … I can almost hear Rudolf Clausius turning in his grave.’ Photograph: Trevor Baker
At the start of 2013 the debate on whether it’s OK to take photographs of your food in restaurants seemed to swing towards a definite “no”. In New York some smaller establishments, such as Momofuku Ko, have banned photography. An article on Esquire’s blog provided a stern list of reasons why pausing for a photo shoot before eating is not OK, the most surreal being that it’s an affront to the laws of thermodynamics (because it makes your food get cold), the most sensible being that your photos will probably be rubbish anyway.
However, in Alicante in Spain, the restaurant group Grupo Gourmet, which owns the much-praised Taberna del Gourmet and Monastrell restaurants, has started running a “Fotografia para foodies” course on the basis that, if people are going to take pictures, they might as well do it properly. Chef-patron María José San Román says that the worst thing about bloggers taking pictures in her restaurants is that, if they don’t do a good job, or if they do it after eating half the food, the result looks terrible.
Well, according to Wikipedia, it’s a small snack usually served in a bar. They are particularly popular in Spain and the Basque Country. You can follow the link to find out more, quite fascinating.
I had never heard of ‘pintxo bars’ before I read this…
The best experimental pintxo bars in San Sebastián
San Sebastián’s famous pintxo bars serve fantastic food for a few euros – and now there’s a new generation of more experimental places to try, says the author of Real Tapas
Experimental pintxo at A Fuego Negro in San Sebastián
Last week, acclaimed Basque chefs Juan Mari Arzak and his daughter Elena, owners the famous Arzak restaurant in San Sebastián, opened Ametsa, their long awaited London outpost. Several notches down the price scale, in Donostia-San Sebastián itself, you can sample bite-size versions, cocina en miniatura or pintxos, the refined Basque version of tapas. Here is a selection of the top avant garde and experimental pintxo bars, plus a couple of classics thrown in.
Iñaki Gulín has kept a loyal following ever since he blazed a trail at La Cuchara de San Telmo. This opened 12 years ago at the back of the old coastal quarter as an innovative, nueva cocina place with a young spirit. Then, five years ago, he and fellow chef Marc Clua left La Cuchara to open Borda Berri a few streets away in this foodie labyrinth, keeping the rock’n'roll style yet turning out impeccable pintxos with a twist. The homely bar, its yellow walls hung with old photos, is professional yet laid-back, not an easy balance. The pintxos are chalked up on a board and cooked to order: an unctuous risotto of mushrooms and idiazabal (a Basque cheese), garlic soup with pig’s ear, braised veal cheeks in wine or a bacalao (salt cod) taco. This is top, earthy Basque fare and not to be missed.
Award-winning Zeruko is one of the old town’s most inventive pintxo haunts. The style is young, hip and playful, with mint-green walls, trestle tables and a bar laden with temptations. Aspic makes a comeback, enclosing diced vegetables and a soft-boiled egg, quickly heated beforehand, or wild mushrooms with foie gras mousse. Meticulously presented, though contrasts of textures and flavours sometimes go too far down the showy molecular route. Try the marmitako, a traditional Basque tuna and potato soup.
Read more bar reviews with photos
Should we learn to love eating insects?
Fried grasshoppers – a Mexican delicacy – are currently on offer in one London restaurant. Is it time to get over our squeamishness and learn to savour the taste of bugs?
Mexican grasshoppers fried in chilis … could you? Photograph: Alamy
On the menu the Mexican delicacy is described as “chapulines fundido“. Having eaten it – indeed polished it off – I would say it is the equivalent of an “insect moussaka”. The bottom layer is made of pureed fried grasshoppers (chapulines), which have been flavoured with softened shallots, garlic, smoky chipotle chillies and lime juice, topped with a gooey, fondue-style blanket of mozzarella and cheddar cheese (queso fundido). You can scoop it up, street-style, with corn tortillas or get stuck in with a knife and fork. And so that you are under no illusion whatsoever about the main ingredient, the dish is garnished with three crispy grasshopper bodies – minus legs and wings. Yum – or not.
Grasshoppers, of course, don’t routinely feature anywhere on British restaurant menus, but that could all be about to change. Wahaca, the sustainable Mexican street-food restaurant chain co-founded by MasterChef winner Thomasina Miers, is trialling the dish for one month only at its South Bank restaurant in London. It claims the unusual move – some might say shameless PR stunt – reflects its ethos of providing interesting, flavoursome fare while encouraging people to take the next step in sustainable eating by swapping meat for a protein-rich, environmentally friendly alternative. Meanwhile in a documentary next Monday on BBC4, Stefan Gates asks if eating bugs – from tarantulas to grasshoppers – can “save the world”.
More than 1,000 insect species are eaten in 80% of countries – mostly in the tropics. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation says insects are vital to meeting the nutritional needs of the world’s growing population but they hardly feature in the diets of many rich nations. As an ingredient, chapulines are a healthy alternative to meat; cooked grasshopper contains up to 60% protein, with 6% fat. Miers herself believes eating insects is no different from eating shrimp or prawns; after all, like insects, they are arthropods.
“It’s just not in our psyche at the moment,” she says. “The chapulines fundido is a great introduction to the beautiful earthy flavour of these insects as it tastes amazing and a salsa is much more palatable for the more squeamish diners out there.”
You can’t argue with the need to get us to eat more sustainably, but given Britons’ aversion to dealing with, let alone eating insects, what do the punters think? On a chilly Monday evening – the first full day of the experiment – a handful of early evening diners at the South Bank restaurant have ordered the dish.
Friends Kate Franklin and Bella Lawrence have eaten more than half the portion they are sharing. “It was very tasty, very lemony in flavour,” says Kate, a 22-year old photographer. But Bella, also 22, isn’t sure about “the three smiley faces” on top, which lie uneaten. The pair agree that the initiative was a commendable one. The chain is doing a steady trade in the dish, if not a roaring one. General manager Dean Hughes said he expects the restaurant – which has 90 covers – to serve up 30 portions by the close of play. After the horsemeat scandal people are definitely looking for alternatives to meat,” he says.
In fact there seems to be more criticism of the heavy cheese layer – which tends to congeal as it gets cold – than the insect content. Personally, I enjoy the rich, smoky flavour and texture of the dish. But even I am unable to wolf down an entire bowl of crunchy grasshopper bodies, which are typically served in Mexico as bar snacks washed down with cold beer. And there is also the issue of the insects’ carbon footprint. Those used by Wahaca – vaccuum-packed in large bags – are imported to the UK from Oaxaca in Mexico.
Have you eaten insects, anywhere in the world? And could you imagine making them a part of your regular diet? Should we westerners just learn to get over our squeamishness?
Sorry, but no thanks, I am definitely a part of the squeamish brigade.
Secret ingredient: Capers
CAPER CRUSADERS: Capers add a special piquancy to Mediterranean dishes, among others.
Do you feel like a caper? No, not the sort that involves jolly japes and other shenanigans, but the little green buds that come in glass jars.
WHAT ARE CAPERS?
Most of us know what capers look like – little pea-size dark green objects usually sold in glass jars. But what are they and where do they come from? Well, they start life growing on a shrub-like bush (Capparis spinosa) that grows particularly well in the Mediterranean region, but also in parts of Asia, the Middle East and California. More recently a small but sophisticated caper industry has taken shape in Australia too.
After being picked (by hand, which accounts for their price), the unopened buds are wilted in the sun or large industrial kilns and later brined or packed in salt.
Capers have been used – originally for medicinal purposes and later in cooking – for thousands of years. They come in a variety of sizes; from that of a baby green pea through to the size of a small olive; the smallest ones – and also the most expensive – hail from southern France and are known as nonpareils. Larger capers are stronger in flavor and less aromatic but should not be confused with caper berries, which are capers that have been allowed to mature until they are about the size of an olive. Like capers, they are brined and can be eaten straight from the jar (they make great finger food on an antipasto platter).
WHAT DO THEY TASTE LIKE?
Their sharp, somewhat salty taste is not to everyone’s taste, but they add a special piquancy to Mediterranean dishes, among others.
WHERE CAN I FIND THEM?
Brined capers are freely available in supermarkets, but if you are after the salted variety you may have to track them down in a specialty food shop. Once opened, keep your capers refrigerated and, most importantly, submerged beneath the brine.
WHAT CAN I USE INSTEAD?
It’d be a shame to try to substitute the flavour of capers but if you must, then try chopped green olives.
GOT ANY GOOD RECIPES USING THEM?
Recipes with veal, fish, and a number of pasta sauces (see below) are among the most popular ways to use capers. Then there are wine sauces, salad dressings, pizza, turkey, meats, relishes, tapenades, Mediterranean dishes, artichoke, vegetables, and olives. They can also be fried and then tossed into a dish for a crunchier, crispier flavour and texture.
Check link for a caper recipe
Can you grow capers?
How to grow capers
Capparis spinosa Spineless Caper flower – image: ebay
Mature caper bushes can grow three feet high and spread four or five feet. They require dry heat and intense sunlight to flourish. They will be killed by temperatures below 20 degrees F. In the north, bring the plants inside during the winter or just grow them in pots in a greenhouse. Seeds are dormant and notoriously difficult to germinate. You can just try starting the seeds, but the following technique will give the best success (40-50%).
Soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours. Put seeds in a wet towel, seal in a plastic bag and leave in the refrigerator for 6-8 weeks. Remove, soak again in warm water for 24 hours. Plant seeds 3/8 inch deep (lcm) in a mixture of potting soil/perlite/sand (50/25/25%). Use 4-6″ pots and put 4-5 seeds per pot. Seeds should germinate in 3-4 weeks. Grow until 3-5″ tall. Save the best plant; cut the rest with a scissors(don ‘t just pull them out). When transplanting, disturb the root as little as possible. For northem gardeners, when transplanting, protect plant from elements until it has taken (cover with plastic bag for the first 3-4 days, then cut top of the bag to admit some of the elements and leave a week, then remove entire bag) or use row covers. While not the easiest plant to grow, it is worth the effort to harvest and make your own capers.
Source: Seeds from Italy
Where can I buy caper seeds?
Google: Where to buy caper seeds, there’s heaps of places
Roasted, this bean contains notes of blackcurrant, clove, vanilla, chocolate and nuts, all of which make great flavour companions
Coffee and beef
Caffeinated red meat. Something to serve your most militantly health-conscious friends. Why not add a garnish of lit cigarettes? Coffee is used in the southern US as a marinade or rub for meat. It’s also been spotted in fancier restaurants, perhaps because there’s a well-reported flavour overlap between roasted coffee and cooked beef. But my experience suggests it’s a shotgun wedding. I tried a coffee marinade on a steak and found it gave the meat an overpoweringly gamey flavour. Best to keep these at least one course apart at dinner.
Coffee and blackcurrant
A mysteriously good pairing that often crops up in wine-tasting notes. Once vinified, the rare Lagrein black grape, native to the Italian Alps, captures both flavours. I encountered them in Haute-Savoie in a heavenly vacherin glacé: layers of meringue, blackcurrant sorbet, whipped cream and coffee ice-cream with a sprinkling of toasted almonds. It’s in the running for the most delicious sweet thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. The coffee flavour had the fresh fragrance of just-ground beans and the blackcurrant had that hint of muskiness that processed fruit can’t help but lose by oversweetening. Worth trying in a variant of pavlova (coffee-flavoured meringue with cream and a blackcurrant compote), or even blackcurrant jam in a coffee gateau.
Coffee and hazelnut If you find yourself at an ice-cream parlour in France or Italy and you suffer an attack of selection anxiety, remember: coffee and hazelnut, coffee and hazelnut, coffee and hazelnut.
Coffee and orange
Breakfast companions. San Matteo of Sicily makes a heavenly orange and coffee marmalade. I once had burnt orange and coffee ice-cream, bitter as a custody battle, but resolved by the sweetness of the cream. Orange and coffee tiramisu is nicer than it sounds.
You could make it with this recipe for orange and coffee-bean liqueur. I rather like the way, with marvellously arbitrary bossiness, it calls for exactly 44 coffee beans. To begin, take a large orange and make 44 slits in it. Put a coffee bean in each. It will now look like a medieval weapon, or tribal fetish. Put 44 sugar cubes in a jar. Position the orange on top and pour over 500ml brandy, rum or vodka. Leave it to steep for 44 days, then squeeze the juice out of the orange, mix it back into the alcohol, strain and pour into a sterilised bottle.
Alternatively, put the concoction somewhere dark and cool, forget it’s there, find it covered in dust something like 444 days later, try it sceptically, and realise it’s absolutely delicious without the addition of the juice. Perfectly balanced, not too sweet, and with a complex lingering flavour, it’s as good at rounding off a day as an orange is at starting one.
Coffee and chocolate
Forget hot drinks. Coffee and chocolate work much better in mousses, truffles and cakes. Or use them as uncredited flavour boosters. A little coffee flavour in chocolate dishes can make them taste more chocolatey, and vice versa.
Coffee and cinnamon
Cinnamon has the strength and sweetness to round out coffee flavours in baking. In cafes in Mexico they sometimes give you a stick of cinnamon to stir your coffee. Tastes good and saves on the washing up.
Try this one…
Quick and simple
Hogwarts, that mythical school of magic, by the creator of Harry Potter.
But can you find beer at Hogwarts?
In the past English public schools allowed pupils to imbibe; a tradition that has long passed into history.
The answer is yes. In the films there appears three different Butterbeers, a cold one, a slushie and a hot drink.
Check out this video… What they are and how to make them:
So, yes they have beer at Hogwarts
The Japanese do.
Look at this temaki wrapped in Nori seaweed.
Seaweed is not commonly thought of as edible, but as you can see, it is.
Check out this article, it may surprise some of you.
Why seaweed is the natural choice
The granting of England’s first licence to sell seaweed is most welcome. This delicious substance is highly nutritious
‘Laverbread, arguably Wales’s greatest delicacy, is a superb savoury foil to bacon and buttered toast.’ Photograph: Alamy
A man named Rory MacPhee has just been granted England’s first licence to gather and sell “sea vegetables”, which include seaweed. It may come as a shock to some of the hundreds of amateur foragers living and working on the British coast that if they sell the seaweed they harvest, they’re breaking the law. Time was when many people living in these islands ate seaweed every day.
Seaweed, in fact, is one of the most useful natural substances on the planet. It’s existed for over one billion years, and all land plants evolved from it. At least 145 of its roughly 10,000 different species are eaten around the world. It’s full of carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and vitamins, and it’s often rich in iodine. Dulse, which MacPhee plans to harvest in particular, contains every trace element that human beings need.
In eastern China, seaweed is a major vegetable – though the “seaweed” you buy in your local takeaway is likely to be deep-fried cabbage. In Ireland they mash seaweed into porridge; in Hawaii they harvest and rinse it and eat it with fish. Iceland teems with free-growing ingredients: edible seaweeds were one of the few things that people could eat there in previous bleaker centuries. Laverbread is arguably Wales’s greatest delicacy, a superb savoury foil to bacon and buttered toast made with the seaweed laver.
Though Indonesia produces more, Japan is probably the world’s most important consumer of seaweed. They eat at least 21 species there. Nori is the flaky, crackly stuff that sticks to your tongue when you bite a sushi roll. Its annual trade is worth more than $1bn, making it the most valuable aquaculture in Japan, worth more than fish and seafood.
Another Japanese seaweed, kombu, is difficult for humans to digest, but it has nonetheless proved to be one of the most transformative ingredients of all time. In the early 20th century a Japanese chemist found that kombu was an especially rich source of monosodium glutamate – in fact, when you dry kombu, it forms little white crystals of monosodium glutamate (MSG) on its surface. MSG, of course, is now manufactured by the tonne and used across the global food industry. People say vaguely but correctly that it makes foods “taste more of themselves”: it enhances the inherent savouriness of a dish, rather than seasoning it with a bitter, salty, sweet or sour note. The Japanese word for this flavour, umami, translates roughly as “delicious”. It’s worth noting that, contrary to its reputation, MSG is one of the safest and best-studied additives used in food. Those who claim that the MSG in Chinese takeaways makes them feel sick are more likely suffering the effects of a surfeit of cheap grease.
Processing certain red seaweeds gets you carrageenan, aka E407 – another of the most important additives in all industry. They stick it in toothpaste, shampoo, aerosol foams, shoe polish and pharmaceuticals. It winds up in ice creams, beer, pet food, soy milk and diet fizzy drinks. Carrageenan is a stabiliser and thickener. It’s the only substance known to attack the cold virus directly. But while people have used it for centuries to thicken sauces, not least in Ireland and Scotland, it’s probably not a good idea to eat too much of those processed foods that contain a lot of it. It certainly causes inflammation in rats, and studies on mice and guinea pigs have suggested a link between carrageenan and colon cancer.
Nonetheless, old-fashioned seaweeds are nutritious and delicious, and it’s rather a shame that we abandoned them in this country. If MacPhee manages to get more Britons eating the stuff, he should be applauded.
Here’s something to make you cringe.
No, that’s not a typo.
In Spanish, criadillas, doesn’t sound quite so gutsy, but rolls off the tongue easier than the English.
Can you imagine that they are edible?
Tacos are a good vehicle for the first timer.
Criadillas a la Mexicana
They look okay, you want the recipe and step by step instructions as well as a good write with a bit of a giggle…
Then visit La Cocina de Leslie
“The texture was like biting into a hot dog and the flavor of the Criadillas, sauteed with Salsa Mexicana, was like a spicy sausage.”
Conversation with my, at the time, seven year old stepdaughter… (tanslated from the orignal Portuguese)
“Whatcha doing Dad?”
“But it’s pink!”
“It’s Hello Kitty Sauce.”
“You didn’t put my Hello Kitty in the blender, did you?” Startled kid runs off to her room.
I was making golf sauce. I hate the stuff, but the kids like it.
Ellen has liked it from the time she first saw it in a classy restaurant. It was then that I coined the phrase Hello Kitty Sauce, and now her younger sister (nearly six) is hooked on it too. She loves ovos de cordona (quail’s eggs, which are big here in Brazil, despite being so small) and Hello Kitty Sauce.
Tell your daughter it’s Hello Kitty Sauce, it’s a great way to wean girls off ketchup.
Everybody knows what a cauliflower looks like…
But, what’s this?
It’s a romanesco cauliflower.
You can do most things with it that you can do with a regular cauliflower.
Everybody who has dabbled in cocktails knows the famous Angostura Bitters; that essential ingredient to many cocktails.
But why is it ‘essential’?
Recently, I started reading a blog boymeetsworld ‘thoughts on drinking, life and mixing the two’.
He is an ardent fan of bitters and makes them, experimenting with different concoctions.
Then today, I read an article in The Guardian about cocktails sneaking from the bar to the restaurant table in place of the wine list.
My Google Button
The article mentioned Woodland Bitters, I have never heard of these before, so off I went, I hit the ‘Google Button’.
Now as much as I hate Google and all it stands for, I have to admit that it can’t be surpassed for information. While I never search the net for commercial reasons the bias that it places on searches, etc don’t mean crap to me. I treat Chrome and Google+ with equal disdain and wouldn’t touch neither with yours.
On pressing my google button I found this great site with a post Gastronaut: How to Make Bitters interesting indeed. “People say bitters are the salt and pepper of the bar, but really, they’re like the spice rack,” says Brad Thomas Parsons – opening gambit.
The article talks about Sarsaparilla, Devil’s Club Root, Cassia Chips, Black Walnut Leaf and many other ingredients briefly giving their properties.
Better still, hit your own google button, search ‘woodland bitters’ you’ll find many sites with recipes, cocktails and how bitters can be used in cooking recipes; I didn’t know that.
So while bitters started out as a remedy, a cure all, they have come a long way from the medicine cabinet to the bar and ultimately to the kitchen.
There is nothing like Spanish morcilla or black pudding, full of spices and nuts combined with apples and lovely succulent belly pork for a spicy, fruity take on the traditional roast.
You will need:
1 large square piece of belly pork
3 pieces fresh morcilla
Salt and pepper
Now for the how to do, check out RECIPE FROM SPAIN:
And you should have something like this…
It took us two weeks to learn three words in Mongolian: hello, thank you, and beer.
And the answer is…
Yes, they have beer in Mongolia.
Image credit: Ambling in Aia
Now, how many of you know where Mongolia is?
Mongolia is sandwiched between China and Russia. They have their own language, but Russian is used a lot.
Нийслэл пиво, 5.0%
Image credit: 崩 ス / 創 ル in English
Image credit:Lady in Ulaanbaatar Great write up on that link.
Or Chinggis in a can…
Chinggis in a can
Oh, they have BBQ, different, but looks good
Mongolian BBQ in Ulaan Baatar
Image credit: TravelPod
Yes, they have beer in Mongolia!
So I wrapped a burrito in a pizza, beer battered it and proceeded to deep fry the little guy.
Meet the clogger!
Some people really do abuse their stomachs.
Traditionally lettuce is good for two things… rabbits and salads.
True or False?
Of course it’s ‘false’, you can use lettuce as a garnish or serve food on a bed-of-lettuce and, of course it is essential in a decent hamburger.
Then there’s the famous BLT and other sandwich combinations, and you can make little food parcels
But does it stop there?
Can lettuce actually be cooked?
My father did. You see my father wasn’t a cook; to boil water he needed instructions, and one time when my mother was in the nursing home, he did, he boiled lettuce and served it to us kids for dinner.
I have never cooked lettuce, and I was bemused when I read this in The Guardian last week.
Lettuce of note: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s lettuce recipes
Lettuce gratin: A novel and tasty way to serve up the traditional inhabitant of the salad bowl. Photograph: Colin Campbell for the Guardian
Yes, it’s great in salads (iceberg excepted), but lettuce can be put to a lot more uses than that
Great article and some recipes:
- Lettuce and spring onion tart
- Lettuce gratin
Are a couple, as well as a good basic vinaigrette.
In a moment of brilliant inspiration I have added a new feature here. My mind is still like lightning, even at 60; one flash and it’s gone…
Fridays from today, will feature,
“Do they have beer in…”
The object is to look at some of the out-of-the-way, hard-to-locate countries of the world, places where you have never considered the possibility that they might indeed have beer.
So the question today is Do they have beer in… Greenland?
“Uh, where’s that?”
Well, it’s sort of up there, near the cold part of Canada, the really cold part, and Iceland.
Yes, they have a flag
But, do they have beer?
Apparently, yes, they do.
Grønland, that’s how you spell it in Danish. You see, while Greenland is a lot% autonomous, it really is a part of Denmark. The image and caption are from Umamimart, a food and drink blog, they have a great write up on Greenland and a Greenlander store in Copenhagen, it’s worth reading.
And a Grønland Ice Cap Beer– “Brewed with the purest water in the world from the Greenland Ice Cap”. Yum!
Bu that’s not all, Greenland is trendy, they have craft beer:
Made with Inland Ice, no less
There are beer mats, or coasters:
And Christmas Beer:
So, yes, Greenland does have beer, and not only these, there are others.
Greenland also have great food, although local food tastes won’t be yours, they compensate.
During your stay you can taste many delicious local dishes. Look forward to smoked salmon, shrimp, lamb, whale steaks, catfish, Greenland halibut and even musk ox. You will also enjoy traditional Danish dishes like smørrebrød and meatballs with potatoes. – Nanortalik (travel site)