Friday, May 31, 2013


3 Stroud Green Rd  
N4 2DQ

I'm attempting my first post from my phone to see if this is an easier way to keep up with posting. I'm massively behind because I just can't find time to write about everything great that I eat. Solutions are to eat less, or stop eating so much good food, but neither of those appeals. 

While in Finsbury Park to see a friend's brother in Yellow Face (speaking of which go see it, really) we had time for lunch. I remembered hearing about Dotori and then Kevin (friend's brother) recommended it, so it was clear we should go. Seafood pajeon (pancake) was ordered alongside a sushi set. This is probably my favorite seafood pajeon in London. Crisp, greaseless, stuffed with shrimp, squid and mussels - we wolfed it down and were almost too full for the sushi. Did I mention the pajeon was only £6.50? Sushi was fine but it's the pajeon I'd go back for. Go Go Go.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Thai Orchid

21 High St  

TR11 2AB

T requested Thai food for our last evening in Falmouth - having passed by The Thai Orchid on numerous trips into Falmouth we decided to give it a try. The decor is memorable - tables are bedecked with candles and benches are covered with colorful pillows - it certainly didn't feel like we were in Falmouth. And the food was decent, if not particularly memorable - I had a seafood dish with Thai basil and it tasted exactly like I expected, if a little sweet. So if you have a Thai craving and happen to be in Falmouth, I'd give this a try, but I wouldn't travel long distance for it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Smothered Pork Roast and Maquechoux

To go with the previous post on Bread Pudding - here's the rest of the New Orlean's-style meal we had. The roast generously served six, and there were leftovers for another six individual meals, so this is a great recipe if you want to make sure everyone leaves stuffed. While it isn't the quickest of preparations, it is well worth the effort for the depth of flavor and the noisy appreciation of your guests!

Smothered Pork Roast over Rice
Adapted from the Amateur Gourmet, who cited Donald Link’s “Real Cajun.”


3.5kg boneless pork shoulder
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
2 large onions, thinly sliced
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon dried rosemary, crumbled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
115g butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Steamed rice (for serving)
Chopped parsley (for garnish)


Preheat the oven to 275 F / 135 C.

Season the pork very generously with salt and pepper, rubbing the seasonings into the fat and flesh of the meat. Set the roast aside for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour at room temperature.

Combine the onions, garlic, thyme, and rosemary in a medium mixing bowl and toss to combine.

Heat the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot, sear the meat on all sides until deeply browned and crusty, 10 to 12 minutes total.

Transfer the meat to a plate, reduce the heat to medium, and then stir in the butter. When the butter has melted, stir in the flour to make a roux and continue to cook, stirring, until the roux turns a dark peanut butter color, about 10 minutes.

Add the onion mixture and cook, stirring, until all the ingredients are well-coated and the mixture is thick. Whisk (or stir; with all those onions, it’s hard to whisk) in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Return the pork to the Dutch oven, spoon some of the onion mixture over the meat, cover, and roast for about 3 hours, turning and basting the pork every 30 minutes or so, until the meat will break apart when pressed gently with a fork.

At this point, you can serve the roast right out of the pan, or transfer it to a plate, then simmer the pan drippings, skimming off excess fat, until reduced by about one-third, or until it coasts the back of a spoon. Add the lemon juice and taste for seasonings.

To serve, spoon some rice on to to each plate, top with pieces of fork-tender pork, ladle on the sauce and garnish with the parsley. Serves about 6 people, with generous leftovers for tomorrow’s sandwich.

Adapted from Gumbo Pages
Pronounced "MOCK SHOE", this is a dish that the Cajuns got from the Native American tribes that populated southwest Louisiana


1 kg frozen sweet corn
115g unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups onions, finely chopped
1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 can evaporated milk


Melt the butter in a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery and tomatoes and saute until the onions are transparent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the salt and peppers, then add the corn and evaporated milk and stir well. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the corn is tender, about 10-15 more minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Serves 8-10.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bread Pudding

For a New Orleans-themed dinner, I did a bit of searching through cooking sites and found one dedicated to recipes from some of New Orleans' finest restaurants. This bread pudding recipe by Pascal's Manale sounded exactly right as a finish to the menu, but it made enough to serve 15, so I cut it in half and also threw in some dried cranberries when I didn't have quite enough raisins. It was absolutely devoured (especially by S, who said bread pudding was his favorite dessert ever), even though we were all stuffed from the main course, so I'm going to call it a massive success. 

Bread Pudding
Adapted from Pascal's Manale


1.5 Loaves French Bread
215g Raisins
950ml Whole Milk
115g Sugar
5 Eggs
115g Melted Butter
3 tbs Vanilla Extract


Cut French bread into cubes. Pour milk on French bread. Let milk soak into bread. Add the remaining ingredients to French bread mixture. Mix with hand until blended evenly. Pour mixture into ungreased pan.

Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Makes 15 or more servings.

Brandy Butter Topping


3 tbs Brandy
225g butter
225g sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract


Let butter sit at room temperature until very soft. Add the remaining ingredients and blend with mixer until smooth. Pour over bread pudding.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Chewy Coconut Macaroons

For some reason I bought a giant bag of desiccated, unsweetened coconut a while back. Every time I looked at my baking shelf, it was there staring at me, so I finally did something about it and made macaroons. If you like chewy, sweet cookies that seem to be entirely made out of coconut, then these are for you. I found them a tad sweet so would probably reduce the amount of sugar next time around.

Chewy Coconut Macaroons
Adapted from Baking Bites


3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325F / 160C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Spread your shredded coconut on a cutting board and coarsely chop it with a knife to break up the larger shreds of coconut.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar and vanilla until well blended. Add in shredded coconut and stir with a spatula until well moistened.

Place level 1/4 cup scoops of the coconut mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Pack the macaroons together with your fingers (forming the mix into pyramid shapes is very attractive, but mounds of macaroon are just as tasty!)

Bake for about 20 minutes, until macaroons are golden brown around the edges (time will vary slightly by size of the cookies). Cool completely on a wire rack.

Makes 10 large macaroons.