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Archive for December, 2013

Can you believe how quickly 2013 has whizzed past us?


Just a few more days before we say goodbye to this year and look forward to a whole new 2014 πŸ™‚


For me this year has been quite a mixed bag – some really wonderful and incredible things have happened, along with some not-so-great experiences.


Either way, all experiences teach us things, and just for that, a celebration is always in order before the year ends.


And what better way to end the year than with a show-stopping party dish like this one?


Edible garden 1


If you’re anything like me, you need vegetables to look and taste their absolute best before they are allowed to enter your mouth.


This is a dish that does just that.


It is a garden of colourful, delicious veggies, on a bed of creamy egg-mayo mix, topped with black olive “soil” and rocket leaf “grass”.


Edible garden 2


Intrigued yet?


What you’ll love about this dish is that you can totally personalise it, adding only vegetables you like. There are no rules – you can “plant” your garden however you want, so go completely crazy!


Edible garden 3


Here’s a look at my prep table.


Prep table


How about a closer look?


Blanched bright asparagus.


Asparagus


A handful of lettuce (I used a mix of purple and green).


Lettuce


Broccoli floret “trees”.


Broccoli


Gorgeous red cherry tomatoes.


Cherry tomatoes


Pan-fried, golden brussel sprouts.


Brussel sprouts


Stir-fried button mushrooms.


Mushrooms


A bed of boiled egg and mayonnaise mixture.


Egg-mayo mix


Chopped up rocket leaves for grass.


Rocket grass


And dehydrated black olives for dark, rocky soil.


Olive soil


Let’s see how we put these wonderful things together now, shall we?


Heston Blumenthal’s Edible Garden
Adapted from: www.theguardian.com


Prep time: 30 mins, plus dehydrating time
Serves: 10 as an appetizer (makes 1 tray)


Ingredients:


400 g black olives in brine, drained and finely chopped
large handful rocket leaves
salt and pepper to taste
15-20 asparagus stalks
handful of lettuce (purple and green)
1 small head of broccoli, chopped into florets
10-15 cherry tomatoes
2 tsp olive oil
10-12 brussel sprouts, cut in halves
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
10-15 button mushrooms
10 hard boiled eggs
150 g mayonnaise


Method:


1. Preheat the oven to 110ΒΊ C. Line a baking tray with parchment, scatter the chopped olives on it in an even layer and dehydrate in the oven for upto 4 hours or until quite dry, stirring through the tray every hour. Dehydrate and then finely chop the rocket leaves in the same way, although the leaves won’t take more than an hour.
2. Chop off the hard ends of the asparagus stalks and blanch in salted water. Set aside.
3. Rinse the lettuce leaves in ice cold water, drain, and set aside.
4. Blanch the broccoli florets in salted water and set aside. Wash the tomatoes, drain, and set aside.
5. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a non-stick pan and fry the brussel sprouts (cut-side down) with salt and pepper to taste. Once golden and caramelised, add about half a cup of water, stirring over a medium flame until the brussel sprouts are tender. Remove and set aside.
6. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a non-stick pan and add the garlic. Throw in the mushrooms, season, and stir-fry until brown and cooked through.
7. Peel off the shells and mash the hard-boiled eggs with the mayonnaise to as fine a paste as possible. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if you like.
8. Spoon the egg-mayo mixture into a round or rectangular metal baking dish with raised edges and even out the surface. You could actually use any type of dish you like, but a metal or clay dish looks the best since it’s supposed to replicate a mini garden. Now use your judgement to scatter over the olive soil and rocket grass as you see fit. Then “plant” the vegetables, arranging them as you like, symmetrically or asymmetrically, by pushing them down gently into the egg-mayo base. Serve with a large spoon onto smaller plates, or let your guests pick up little vegetables and snack as they please.


Edible garden 4


I can promise you this will be the talking point of your evening. Make it and watch your friends gush over it πŸ™‚


Have a wonderful wonderful New Year! I hope 2014 is a blessed and happy time for all of us.


Love and kisses from CulinaryStorm :*


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Hello my darlings!


This was my face when I was in London for an entire month.


Me


It is a happy face, as you can see.


Everyone knows London is a gorgeous city. It has the sights and sounds and people and experiences that make it a must-see place on everyone’s list.


But today we’re going to talk about the marvellous food in London.


The food. Oh my god. The food.


The food was exciting and unpredictable and comforting and satisfying all at once. It was an explosion of flavours and colours and textures and cuisines.


To celebrate that experience I want to share with you this list of 100 things to eat in London.


(Warning: There will be many cupcakes)


Heck, let’s start with cupcakes shall we? Muhahahaha πŸ˜€


1. Assorted, colourful cupcakes that look too good to eat.


1. Assorted cupcakes 1


2. A typical China town buffet platter. Yes, those are batter-fried onions.


2. China town platter 1


3. A Tapas feast with tender pork belly, Spanish omelets, and calamari among other scrumptious things.


3. A Tapas feast


4. Sausages baby! Every shape, size, and meat!


4. Assorted sausages 2


5. Gin and tonic, and some dark ale. Check. Cute bartender. Double check.


5. Gin and beer


6. Focaccia. And crusty crusts to send you into a tizzy.


6. Assorted breads 1


7. Have you ever seen wild blue mushrooms? How dreamy are they?


7. Wild blue mushrooms


8. Seaweed crisps are the new chips. I’m telling ya.


8. Seaweed crisps


9. Oreo mini cupcake.


9. Oreo cupcake


10. A Starbucks PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte). Bonus? They’ll give you a funny new name every time you order!


10. PSL


11. A mushroom appetizer with aubergine crisps. Posh Spice would be proud.


11. Aubergine chips with mushroom


12. Beans on rice. With Guac. And sour cream.


12. Beans on rice


13. Mini fruit tarts. Filled with custard and topped with fruit.


13. Assorted desserts 1


14. Crisp calamari with lime and a spicy aioli.


14. Calamari and aioli


15. A gorgeous green Pistachio macaron. What a beauty.


15. Pistachio macaron


16. Pork Belly at Jamie’s Italian.


16. Pork belly


17. Truffled egg and hamhock breakfast pot at Leons.


17. Hamhock, truffles, and eggs


18. Cupcakes from The HummingBird Bakery in Notting Hill. Such a legendary place.


18. Hummingbird bakery cupcakes


19. Korean seafood soup – don’t you love the colors?


19. Korean seafood soup


20. Fresh fruit. So beautiful. So bountiful.


20. Fresh fruit


21. Dulce de leche froyo with strawberries and flaked almonds.


21. Froyo


22. Gelato. How am I supposed to choose? Like how?


22. Gelato


23. Hot grilled potatoes at the Farmer’s Market in Covent Garden. Perfect winter food.


23. Grilled potatoes


24. Kimchi fried rice with a runny-yolk fried egg. I could eat this every day.


24. Kimchi rice


25. Dear Lavender mini cupcake. Why you so pretty?


25. Lavender cupcake


26. Nandos Peri Peri chicken. With sweet potato mash.


26. Nandos chicken


27. Olives. Marinating in tubs of delicious olive oil.


27. Olives


28. Sparkling Rose.


28. Rose


29. Scampi and rough-cut chips. In a local Brit pub.


29. Scampi and chips


30. Minestrone with squid ink linguine.


30. Squid ink linguini minestrone


31. Warm strawberry waffles.


31. Strawberry waffle


32. Yum yums. Basically deep fried dough, dredged in sugar. Whoever named it deserves the Nobel.


32. yum yum


33. Larger cupcakes with generous amounts of frosting. ‘Coz that’s how they’re meant to be yo!


33. Assorted cupcakes 2


34. Bangers and mash – ultimate British comfort food.


34. Bangers and mash


35. China town platter with red wine to wash it all down. Totally your money’s worth.


35. China town platter 2


36. Chocolates from the legendary Choccywoccydoodah.


36. Chocolates in Cocchywoccydoodah


37. Comte – a delicious hard cheese.


37. Comte cheese


38. Chips and corn. I think yellow might be my favourite colour.


38. Chips and corn


39. Decadent coffee-chocolate mousse cake. Sigh.


39. Coffee chocolate mousse cake


40. Tomatoes and chillies so bright, they look unreal. But they were beautifully real πŸ™‚


40. Fresh tomatoes and chillies


41. Goulash and bread. A winter lunch.


41. Goulash


42. Bratwurst hot dogs with fried onions on top.


42. Hot dogs


43. Rainy day outside. Rich hot chocolate inside.


43. Hot chocolate


44. Korean noodle box. The slippery glass noodles are so delicately flavoured.


44. Korean box


45. Tangy lemon meringue cupcake.


45. Lemon cupcake


46. Mini cakes. Aren’t they just the perfect size?


46. Assorted mini cakes


47. Smooth as silk liver pate and gherkins.


47. Pate and gherkins


48. Olives on ice and red, red wine.


48. Olives on ice with Red wine


49. Mushrooms in all shapes and sizes.


49. Mushrooms


50. Grilled veggies with cheese to scatter over.


50. Grilled veggies


51. A wonderfully sweet and bitter coffee cupcake.


51. Coffee cupcake


52. Dumplings. With pork inside. ‘Nuf said.


52. Dumplings


53. Gooey chocolate caramel cake with icecream.


53. Gooey caramel chocolate cake


54. A kebab roll with all the fixings.


54. Kebab roll


55. Victoria sponge cake, anyone?


55. Victoria sponge cake


56. Sushi. Oh yes.


56. Sushi


57. Fresh strawberries in a box = endless possibilities.


57. Strawberries


58. Raisukaree in Wagamama. Coconutty goodness.


58. Raisukaree in Wagamama


59. Some fantastic sirloin. With Yorkshire pudding.


59. Roast beef


60. Tapas platter with Prosecco. Perfect post-work meal.


60. Small tapas plate with


61. Halloween mint cupcake. With its very own fondant RIP gravestone.


61. Mint cupcake


62. Rainbow cake. Because colours are awesome.


62. Rainbow cake


63. Sweet slow-cooked pork. So tender it crumbles into shreds at the touch of a knife.


63. Slow cooked pork


64. Spaghetti with olives and tomatoes. Cheese, not optional.


64. Spaghetti


65. No-carb tuna salad with boiled eggs. Perfect light lunch.


65. Tuna salad


66. Blackberries and raspberries in whole cream. Life is too short for light cream.


66. Berries and cream


67. A big, fat, melting pot of Paella.


67. Paella


68. Peirogis – delicious baked dumplings.


68. Pierogis


69. Pulled pork and bean sandwich. Oh yeah baby.


69. Pulled pork sandwich


70. Steaming hot seaweed soup. Heals all boos boos.


70. Seaweed soup


71. More fresh, crusty bread. I can’t ever eat processed, packet bread again.


71. Assorted breads 2


72. Giant cookies. I need one now.


72. Assorted cookies


73. Good ‘ol beef burger. With pickles, tomato sauce, mustard, and greens.


73. Beef burger


74. Breakfast croissant. Anything with a sticker that says “meaty” is going to be eaten by me.


74. Breakfast croissant


75. The largest dates you’ve never seen.


75. Dates


76. Layered pana cotta.


76. Panna cotta


77. Japanese noodle box with sweet and sour chicken.


77. Japanese box


78. Mixed seafood noodles with snow peas.


78. Mixed seafood noodles


79. Pomme frites with gravy. Fries with gravy over fries with sauce. Anyday!


79. pommes frites


80. The mini red velvet cupcake that stole my heart.


80. Red velvet mini cupcake


81. Walnut and honey cake. Perfect with a hot cup of tea.


81. Walnut and honey cake


82. A dessert stand. I could live here.


82. Assorted desserts


83. Venison, wild mushroom, and chorizo sausages.


83. Assorted sausages


84. A hot waffle with dark chocolate sauce drizzled over.


84. Chocolate waffle


85. The fanciest Goats cheese appetizer ever at OXO Towers.


85. Goats cheese fancified


86. Pie and mash. It’s a hug on a plate.


86. Pie and mash


87. Sweet warm plum tea.


87. Plum tea


88. A purple cauliflower. How gorgeous is that!


88. Purple cauliflower


89. Cheese, crackers, and relish. Perfect on-the-go snack.


89. Snack pack


90. Cheese Maggi with spicy sausages – a little taste of home.


90. Maggi and sausages


91. Beers and ciders with interesting names.


91. Beer and cider


92. A wonderful mix of cakes at the Farmer’s market.


92. Assorted cakes


93. Thin noodles with prawns and peppers in a black bean sauce.


93. Noodles in black bean sauce with prawns


94. A large pistachio cupcake with a mountain of buttercream frosting.


94. Pistachio cupcake


95. Sticky rice with pork, chicken, and seafood. So very comforting.


95. Sticky rice


96. A giant rainbow cake I wanted to grab and run away with to sit and stuff my face in later.


96. Big ass rainbow cake


97. Beautifully presented orange and chocolate mousse cake.


97. Chocolate mousse fancified


98. Enchilada! Gotta love good Mexican fare!


98. Enchilada


99. A delicate almond and fig cheesecake – simple yet memorable.


99. Almond and fig cheesecake


100. Assorted mini cupcakes – cuteness overload! I wanted to buy this entire stand!


100. Assorted mini cupcakes


Hope you all enjoyed that – start planning your trip to London rightaway! And take me with ya πŸ˜‰


*GIVEAWAY WINNER*


The winner of Vikas Khanna and DK’s wonderful new cookbook for children- Young Chefs is Akshit Vohra! Yay! Congratulations sweetheart! The book is on its way to you! πŸ™‚


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