Who doesn’t love tapas? With so many options, there’s something for everybody. I made a selection of tapas for myself and Mr Greedy to share last weekend, and this is the recipe I used for Croquetas de Jamon, adaped from Felicity Cloake of The Guardian’s original. Anybody who follows the blog regularly, you may notice a recurring theme: I love croquettes. Meat, potato, cheese – you name it, I love to cook it and shove it in my greedy gob. These are right up there as one of my favourites – the bechamel has such a warming, creamy flavour, and the ham provides the substance.
I recently came down with a bug, and couldn’t face eating anything heavy. This soup was the perfect remedy – no potato, no cream, nothing heavy when you’re suffering with a delicate stomach. This tastes fresh, light and healthy, and exactly what you need to bring you back to life! Play around with the recipe to suit you – sometimes I cook a ham and use the stock in the soup, then add the shredded pieces of ham, you could add mint for a sweet flavour, or spring onions and chives for a tangier taste. It’s really adaptable and celebrates one of Britain’s most treasured vegetables – the sweet yet simple garden pea.
Most people… Well, most sane people at least, would rank cheese up there as one of the greatest foods on Earth. It’s so versatile, and comes in so many different forms, flavours and textures. This dish is cheese heaven, with 4 great cheeses making up a creamy, rich sauce, with spring onions and bacon – the perfect combination! Easy to make at home, feel free to tweak it with any different cheese or extra ingredients… I want to hear about your versions of this classic!
I’ve been intrigued by tahini for a while now. Commonly used in Middle Eastern cookery, tahini is a paste made up of ground sesame seeds. It has an oily texture – as many ground seeds and nuts do – and resembles peanut butter. I spotted a jar of tahini at the supermarket and chucked it in the trolley, not really thinking twice about how I would use it! I had already planned a Middle Eastern feast for dinner tonight, and was looking around the kitchen to see what I could put together for dessert. I’m not generally a fan of ME desserts as they often use very sweet and fragrant flavours, e.g. rosewater. I noticed the tahini and came up with this recipe – hope you like it! I plan to serve them warmed up with some ice cream.
Bavette steak is such a treasure. High-end restaurants have begun featuring cheaper cuts of beef on their menus, including bavette alongside flank, blade and hanger steaks, for approximately £15 and turning over a tidy profit. A decent sized piece of this meat, otherwise known as beef skirt by butchers, will only set you back approx. £6-7 for a portion large enough to serve 4 people. You can also slow cook beef skirt in stews, so it’s an extremely versatile and cost effective meat.
I love to use beef skirt as a centre piece and really champion this cheap and tasty cut, as it makes a great sharing plate – check out my Korean bulgogi recipe for another take on this meat: korean bulgogi-style beef
On this occasion, I decide to take it down an Italian route. Salsa verde is tangy and herby, and undeniably Italian – the sharpness of the red wine vinegar, capers and gherkin cut through the freshness of fragrant parsley, mint and basil. It’s also surprisingly delicious to dunk your chips into! This dish was also be great with polenta chips – I’ll be trying this next time!
I served the ciabatta bread alongside this dish to dunk into the left over salsa verde, but it would also make a great starter alongside dipping oils. It’s surprisingly easy to make – just don’t be alarmed by how wet the dough is! And be careful not to know too much air out of it when shaping it – one of the beauties of ciabatta is the air pockets inside.
A side note regarding the salad – if you live in the UK like I do, you’ll realise how difficult it can be to get your hands on fresh artichokes. If you can’t, take a look at the jarred antipasti goods as you can often buy marinated artichokes in olive oil. Alternatively, most supermarkets also sell tinned artichokes in water, which work surprisingly well.
I’ve split the recipe up for you, so if you want to just give one part a try then you can!
How gorgeous is this wooden serving board? It was a Christmas present to us from my parents. It’s part of the Jamie Oliver dining range, and absolutely perfect for us as we enjoy antipasti regularly.
We chose to serve a selection of Spanish and Italian meats, Sicilian green olives, capers, marinated artichokes, grilled peppers, Carluccio’s crispbreads and slices of Italian cheese, with a side of fresh tiger bread, tomatoes and mozzarella with balsamic glaze.
OK, it’s official. I have found one of my new favourite haunts. During a recent day trip to Marlborough, the gorgeous and quaint, yet high-brow market town in Wultshire, we were wandering down the main high street. Packed with plenty of pubs and small local shops, it’s great for quiet day out. One tip – take a look in the windows of the many estate agencies. There are some seriously stunning properties available in the area, and let’s face it, out of a lot of our price ranges! No harm in looking though!
As usual, I was hungry (shocker!) so as we strolled, we were checking out the restaurants. Rick Stein’s place stands out, but we decided to wait and see if we could find anywhere else. I’m not a great lover of seafood, and I didn’t fancy pub grub. Suddenly, we came across 100 Chai Street. With its bright blue front and yellow interior, it is certainly eye-catching.