#EatBakeBlog Lush leftover luncheon fuels a blog

How annoying is it when you throw out of date food away?  I’ll be honest, the first thing that crops up in my mind is how much did that cost, what else could I have spent that money on?

For me it would probably have been a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, chilled of course.

Of course it bothers me that it will end up in landfill (I have no compost bin right now) and anyone who knows me well understands that recycling matters to me and I hope it matters to you too.

So today I foraged (well I am a blogger got to use the odd creative word) around the wilds of our fridges and found some baked salmon, kale, broccoli and some cream that all needed using today – so rather than the lush beef sandwich I really wanted, I got my trusty Tefal pan out and started chopping.

20160119_Roast beef from Thorncliffe

I diced half an onion (organic, hey that’s how I roll), crushed a clove of garlic, split the remaining broccoli into a handful of florets, grabbed a handful of kale, flaked the salmon fillet (fending of Leia – our tabby – with my steely glare)  and the remainder of the Elmlea double cream (I know a DCA hardly a foodies go to but I know I had no choice).

I sweated the onion, added the garlic, and the broccoli frying it for 3 minutes, followed by  a generous glug of dry white wine.  Letting it reduce slightly before I added the cream  I next flaked the salmon into the sauce.  Meanwhile the kale was steaming on the spaghetti, once done I tossed this into the pan and grated some parmesan over the top.

Hey presto, within under 10 minutes I had a delicious and creamy, although slightly naughty, dish using leftovers.

20160119_ Leftovers for Lunch

Thanks for reading and if you like my blog then please show your support and comment below or maybe you could retweet if you follow me on twitter.

Louise x

 

 

Ego at The Beverly Arms

It’s no Ego trip (Donaster Road, Ackworth)

This review focuses on our first impression of Ego at the Beverley Arms  and a few comments on our subsequent visits.

We booked in on day 3 of trading at the newly opened Ego at the Beverley Arms.   We arrived at 730pm and were quickly seated our drinks order was taken about 15 minutes later.  There is a lovely buzz about the place with a hint of chaos from a new team which added to the excitement and anticipation.  I am craving an excellent restaurant locally and hope this fits the bill.  However they clearly can seat over 100 covers so I hope they have the experienced team to handle this with their extensive menu.

Around 745pm we placed our order from the a la carte menu ordering the Chicken and Rosemary Pate and Moules Marinieres to start. Followed by Moroccan Lamb  Tanjine and Iberian Belly Pork, served on a bed of spinach with black pudding.

The starters arrived around 15 minutes, they were nicely presented (although no finger bowl for the Moules!). The Pate was very chilled so the flavour was lost and the toasted bread  was not really toasted.  The moules, a starter portion was served in a main course bowl #disappointment. The upside was they were juicy and the mariniere sauce was creamy with just enough garlic so they can be forgiven what I see as teething problems.  I do hope the Head Chef orders some small pots to avoid disappointing their diners.

The main course arrived an hour after our initial order.  The Moroccan Lamb was well presented in the Tajine.

Ego at The Beverly Arms
Lamb Tajine

The was no shortage of olives in this dish, the cous-cous, as promised was lightly buttered (and very fluffy), the vegetables were tasty in the rich sauce, the lamb however as tougher than you’d expect for a slow cooked dish.  There was plenty of tzatziki and corriander to compliment.  Overall this dish was tasty – however – I think it is overpriced at £15.95 considering the lack of provenance and the average quality of the lamb.

David enjoyed his belly pork – the sauce was rich and pork was tender and had a wonderfully crisp top. Again though the pricing is high, you can find similar dishes and more plentiful plates for less (consider this is not served with any vegetables or carbohydrates).

The Dauphinoise Gratin was a fraud it was more like Lyonnaise Potatoes; in summary it was cheesy potatoes – not the wonderfully rich creamy garlic dish you’d expect.

Dauphinoise Potatoes
Dauphinoise Potatoes at £3,25 (that’s a desert spoon for reference)!

It was quite late by the time we finished our mains so we did not order a further course or coffee.

Overall we were not bowled over by Ego at the Beverley Arms, I think  the Ego brand may think they are stronger than they are. In my opinion they have some evolving to do.   We paid over £50 (inlcuding a small carafe of red wine) and in my experience I have paid less for more.  In future, we will dine on their special nights as their main course prices match that of a an established city restaurant with great service.

Our second experience was on the steak night this improved upon our first visit. The latest visit was for a family meal for 8 which was better than our first trip but still a long way off, stronger service is needed again the gap between starters and mains was noticible with no apologies and we were left alone far too long with regards to drinks orders as not all the party were wine drinkers.

I give Ego 3 out of 5 and hope that this soon will improve and would recommend you try but if you are too a keen cook you may wish to book in for a specials night first.

If you like my reviews you will find more on Trip Advisor or follow me on Twitter @LouiseWinder

Louise x

#EatBakeBlog

Time to ditch the junk by #EatBakeBlog

It’s been a wonderful Christmas; I lost nothing and gained plenty, plenty of weight that is.  So much so I am afraid to step onto the scales as I know it will make me cry.  So here I am again making my new years resolutions (I am always a week later than most as my Birthday is early January) and wondering why I am doing this again when it will only end after a few weeks.  This time it will be different as the gym is not an option at the moment so it has to be about what I put in.  I am going back to basics and will now on remember treats are something you have infrequently not once a day or even worse a side to every meal.

Treat one of the first words behind this in the Thesaurus is celebration

So today I will be reading Get the Glow written by the beautiful Madeleine Shaw – and starting to make the first steps to Ditch the Junk or my daily treats; which for me will mean saying goodbye to my longest serving friend –  sorry I mean crutch, which for me is the salty and fatty crisp. I won’t lie I am scared as crisps are to me is what butter is to James Martin so I fear for my nearest and dearest during this detox period!

Today the juicing commenced – not my usual recipe as this was a unplanned moment but it’s a start.  I do love my Breville Juicer  it is has been reliable for a number of years (touch wood) easy to use and as  importantly to dismantle and clean (I still wish we had a dishwasher so this wasn’t a consideration). If you are considering juicing then I’d really recommend you consider the Breville.

This healthy sweet treat was made from three small Braeburns, a carrot, two beetroots and three sticks of celery. juicing

Tomorrow I will be trying the “drink your five-a-day” (see page 260 of Get the Glow) and if all goes well that will be a regular on the menu.

Thanks for reading and if you like my blog then please show your support and retweet or comment below.

Louise x

#EatBakeBlog

 

 

Bake off round 3

For the third time we are going into Bake Off mode at work. This time I’ve decided to make a Chocolate Cake complete with a ganache topping. I’m pleased to say it was a victory. Moist, tasty and rich enough not to require any cream to complete or dilute it’s decadence.
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I was so impressed and excited I decided to bake a Brownie (to the left) and below.
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The Brownie is not my preferred recipe (it contains mayonnaise) but I do love the texture it produces.

The result was as follows for the Ganache.

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Big up to Charlie Bigham’s Lasagne

Charlie Bigham's LasagneAs someone who has spent their life avoiding pre-packaged meals I have now found something that allows me to have night off from the kitchen.  Thank you Charlie Bigham for creating this luscious lasagne that “gives us some time back”.  We first had this as my brothers when we taste tested three lasagne’s; the other two were from Marks and Spencers and were okay but not a patch on Charlie Bighams.

I first thought the secret ingredient was fennel (a herb I rely on to give my sauces a depth and warmth) but tonight when we tucked into this for our supper after a hard day of DIY (sanding and scraping off the layers of paint from the woodwork in our 1850s terrace) I realised I was wrong.  The secret flavour was Star Anise and more importantly chicken livers.

I now feel inspired to rework my lasagne – so thank you Charlie Bingham for feeding us, giving us some time back and motivating me to reinvent my lasagne.

Greater things to come (Cote – 115-116 Church Street, Brighton)

We came to Cote for my fathers 70th birthday on 23rd, as my brother has been here previously and recommended the restaurant.

Upon arrival we were greeted warmly and shown to our table on the terrace but as it was a little scruffy looking and the smokers had adopted the table next to ours we decided to dine inside; which was no issue as the restaurant was not busy.

We ordered drinks and soon after ordered food with all bar one, having two courses (there is nothing suitable for a 3 year old diner).

We were served bread which was deliciously warm and crispy, but this brassiere chose not to offer side plates – and at their prices and their discretionary service charge this is not what you’d expect… where does one place their bread!?

The starters arrived we were all pleased with our choices.  I had the prawns but they were a lacking chilli which was one of the reasons I chose them but there was plenty of garlic so the dish had flavour and well presented.

The main courses: the majority ordered fillet steak in various guises with one rib eye and a sausage and mash for my nephew.  I chose fillet with Garlic butter and a side of minted peas. The fillet steak was well presented and hot and had been served on a hot plate (refreshing as so many restaurants serve hot food on cold or tepid plates).  It had been cooked to my liking medium-rare, it was tender and very flavours some, top marks.   The peas however, were wrinkled and were lacking in mint but had been seasoned.

Medium-rare fillet steak with garlic butter
Medium-rare fillet steak with garlic butter

Desserts were ordered and I will always order Crème Brule which was a good standard.

We asked for an Irish coffee for the Birthday boy, but the waiter advised this  was not something Cote offered and without much fuss the waiter then rescinded and offered to make one which we appreciated.  However, our gratitude soon did a U-turn as they chose to use a small wine glass and what should have been a steaming hot Irish coffee was a tepid rocket fuelled coffee.  When we got the bill they had also charged for a double Jameson’s which we did not doubt had been used. I spoke to the manager as we concerned the staff were using doubles without saying especially after a few wines. She apologised and insisted in refunding – which was appreciated.

Overall the steak was excellent, the service was good but I suspect their could be issues on a busy service; the waiting staff were not keep an eye on the “bus boys” who bring the food up from the kitchen. It is a wonder to me why do many restaurants sacrifice service over profit which can only lead to a downturn in business when it fails.

Cost was  just under £300 for 6 adults.

This could be a Winder Winner; but for now it is three out of five until I see the team in action on a busy Saturday night.

Tapas with a black pudding twist (Ambiente Tapas 36-38 The Calls, Leeds)

This is a trip down memory lane, as I went here on a second date and that date is now my fiancé – here is the review (of the restaurant not my date)..
Went here on a date (my date booked Ambiente Tapas) and I was not disappointed on both counts!  The greeting was warm and the young man who showed us to our table was a breath of fresh air;  he was so enthusiastic about the menu and gave us some great recommendations.

We ordered 6 dishes and all were very good. We had the Lamb, Belly Pork, Lemon Sole, Calamari and the Morcilla with Potato Bravas and Judias Verdes.  My only feedback for improvement is that the potato bravas chunks were not large enough to absorb the flavours of the warm piquant sauce.  The Morcilla was really tasty, but I would have preferred a regular egg, softly poached to the quail egg, as it was overpowered by the black pudding.  The Judias Verdes were a lovely supplement to our protein fest.

The atmosphere was relaxed as the restaurant was not busy, which is understandable for a Sunday night – maybe some fabulous Spanish music would compliment .

The wine we drank was amazing. We had a Rioja reserve which was delicious with rich fruit and good spice and considering the bill came to around £60 (I think as my date insisted on paying)  I view this as good value.

I look forward to going back on a Friday night and sampling their Paella.

Best Itailian in Wakefield – Felice’s Bella Roma (63 Northgate)

We booked here on spec early on a Saturday night for a late dinner. We arrived and were warmly greeted and seating at the bar whilst our table was prepared.

We had a couple of Martin Rouge’s and perused the menu; which was a great delight to us as there is a really breadth of choice with authentic dishes.

We were seated and not long after our orders were taken; Caprese and Gameroni All Aglio (prawns with cannellini beans and fresh chilli) followed by Sea Bass and Veal with a side of Zucchini. The starters arrived and were well presented, my prawns however were overcooked and the chilli had been left out of the dish; the waiter was quick to resolve this and the new dish was tasty; I would say if I could improve this dish it needed a dash more sauce to make it richer.

Main course was again well presented, the Sea Bass was tasty but the sauce could have taken some more seasoning and a further reduction. The veal dish was tasty enough however the escallops were well done and the sage flavour was too subtle. The Zuchinni was cooked to perfection.

For desert there was only once choice the Tiramisu – which was a slice of heaven, hats off to the pastry chef for this beauty.

Atmosphere was great in the restaurant, a really lovely buzz, while the staff were really busy there was no drama or fuss. They checked on us regularly and corrected the issues to took feedback well.

Cost: three courses with aperitif, bottle of wine and coffees was £73Prawns

Winder winner…  3/5  service was excellent, a lot of restaurants could learn from this team although there is still room for improvement. We will be back and hope that we become regulars at Felice’s Bella Roma.