Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Mother India

Okay, so for my friend Emily's birthday yesterday we went out to a place called Mother India's Café. Apparently, it's "...a twist on tapas. The twist is, of course, that Indian food replaces Spanish."  Hmmm. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Or at least what I was thinking. But Emily had chosen it on the fact that there was always a queue outside, so at least it had something going for it.

We got there and had to wait for about 40 minutes, despite being told we'd have to wait 20. Oh well, it smelled delicious and we got some free poppadoms for our wait. (And anyway, in the end, it was totally worth it.)

It suggests on the menu '3 or 4 dishes between two people' so naturally we got 13 for a table of six; plus rice and chapattis....

And that's not the half of it. Here is my plate:

That it fish pakoras at the top, the brown stuff is lamb saag, and the garlic chilli prawns are at the bottom (along with fried rice, chapatti, raita, and coriander chutney which was amazing). Everything was delicious. And I'm not just saying that, it was seriously good. I had the leftovers for tea yesterday and managed to sample a couple more - there was a paneer curry (so spicy - my Singaporean friend Tania ordered it off the menu... Some people...), some chickpea and potato thing that was delicious - I've never had such tender chickpeas - and some butter chicken that was also really good. I mean, just everything was good. I've never been out for a meal and enjoyed absolutely everything before.

In fact, my revered mama is coming for a visit tomorrow - I know, it's like visit city - and I plan to take her here on Friday. She loves curry!

On a scale of one to yummy, possibly an 18.5, only taking a point or two off for the wait.

I know there's not been much food recently that's actually from Emily's Kitchen but there have been a lot of special occasions this past week or so and I'm sure it'll all calm down soon enough. Never fear, my freezer-emptying must start soon!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Lunch and Afternoon Tea

You know I went to the Kelvingrove café? Yes, you do, don't be silly. It was here.

Remember now?

Anyway. I only mention it because my wonderful Nanny (she's actually a grandma, technically. Not like a Mary-Poppins-nanny.) came to visit, and I seem to remember mentioning something about the café at the Kelvingrove being suitable for such revered members of the public and family as herself. (I have to suck up so that she'll take me to Jamie Oliver's italian restaurant next time.)

Moving on, we went for lunch on Friday. We were both starving, so I got fish'n'chips, baby, oh yeah, and Nanny got some sort of Greek lamb stew.

Here is my amazing lunch:

Dang, it was good. The only let-down was that there were peas. I mean, why would you do that? Mushy peas are at least traditional (if yukky), but Bird's Eye Petit Pois? Non.  Apart from that, the fish was so moist and flaky; and the chips were just incredible - my camera steamed up a bit, which is why it looks a bit like a 1940s cheesy film when they put Vaseline on the lens - but they were really crispy and fluffy in all the right places.

Here is Nanny's lunch - 'slow cooked Greek style lamb stew, gently simmered with olives, garlic, cinnamon and lemon.'

I may have tried a tiny bit. It was really good as well. The lamb was just falling apart. It was also slightly more weather appropriate than my choice...

On a scale of one to yummy? 'Bout a 17.

On another note, it was my friend Emily's birthday yesterday. Happy birthday Emily! That's why I didn't get round to writing a post. We were too busy, having afternoon tea! She took me to this tiny place called the Hidden Lane Tearoom. It was amazing - full of random bits of crockery and scones. They had a miniature sampler that said 'What Would Delia Do?' which amused me greatly.

Anyway, I had a pot of raspberry flower tea:

Some cocoanut, white chocolate, caramel, shortbread (I know! Insane!) which I didn't take a picture of, sadly, and a cupcake, which we'll come to in a second. Others had brownies and Amaretto cupcakes:

....which apparently were very good.

Now for my cupcake. My reasons for putting it off are twofold - for one, it's especially beautiful; and for another, I found a cool picture-editing thing that happened to be on my laptop and so faffed around withthe picture. Naturally, I managed to delete the original and as such, the picture's a bit arty-farty. Oh. I just realised I put it as the title picture at the top. That's my surprise ruined. Oh, well, here it is anyway:

Ah-hah! No, this one's slightly different to the one at the top! Oh well. It is pretty though, isn't it?

So on a scale of one to yummy, possibly even a 19. I need to go back and check their other wares...

Good weekend.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

A "Ready Meal"....

Okay, so I was sorting out my freezer yesterday - I know, right? Exciting or WHAT. It's ridiculous - I only have just over 5 weeks left at uni, and I have approximately 40 portions of food in my freezer. Anyhoo, I found a manky old ready meal and I got it out to eat.

It was not very promising-looking - in fact, it really just looked like I'd frozen my embroidery threads - but I shoved it in the microwave to defrost. It took forever - I honestly don't see the attraction of waiting for the microwave to ping when you could be making pasta or whizzing up some soup. Oh well.

It looked horrific when it came out - there was a massive puddle of water at the bottom and everything was covered in little brown blobs - I'm assuming the sauce had separated. Luckily, it smelled appetising so I gave it a hefty stir and shoved it in to actually warm up. Surprisingly enough, it thickened up and once I'd given it a bit of a prod, it looked rather like the picture on the front.


It was quite nice. No, I'm not mad - only quite. It was all a bit mushy, but one I'd suirted some soy sauce and lime juice on it, it was surprisingly edible. The duck was actually really tender and tasted fairly similar to duck.

I have to say, I did get this reduced and I don't think I'd pay four quid for it. But it filled the gap, hit the spot and what-have-you.

On a scale of one to yummy, about a 9.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Smoked Trout Kedgeree

Well, the title says it all, really. I feel usurped by my own title. What is my life coming to? Kedgeree, that's what.

There was some hot smoked trout on the cheap at M&S (look, concerned relatives, I know it sounds like I shop A LOT at M&S but honestly I just go when everything's reduced. And I don't go that often anyway). It was only £1 for three fillets and, oh gosh, was it good. It was so moist and flaky and delicously smoky. In fact, now I think about it, I'm pretty sure that's the first time I've ever had trout. How bizarre.

Anyway I was completely stuck for what to do with it since it needed eating up fairly fast. I googled smoked trout, and up came kedgeree. Aha! I thought. I haven't had kedgeree since... Well.... I'm not sure. Not for a while, anyway.

So here goes...

I cooked some basmati and let it cool. I also boiled an egg. Then I fried some spring onion and green chilli in butter, added some curry powder and turmeric, dolloped in some cream and mixed in the rice.

I then stirred in most of the trout, loads of pepper, fresh coriander and parsley, and shoved it on a plate with the rest of the fish and my egg. I was really pleased with my egg- if I could boil an egg like that when I want a dippy egg and soldiers, I'd be over the moon.


It was really really good - nice and spicy and the fish was delicous. It could have done with a bit more coriander and a bit less curry powder, but I'll know for next time. Turns out I made an absolute ton, so my friend Iveta finished it off for me. I will never learn how much rice to cook.

So, on a scale of one to yummy, about a 13.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


It's my friend Frank's birthday today. Happy birthday, Frank! Anyhow, when I was home over my ridiculously long weekend, we went out for tapas to celebrate.

We'd been to Bodega (a bar in Bowness) before, so I knew what to expect. Oddly enough, I'm sure that we were talking about how I should start a food blog, last time we were there. Anyhow. It was mostly lovely last time, and we were looking forward to going.

The only problem is that it's quite moodily and/or romantically lit, so all of the pictures are very dark. I don't like using my flash anyway, and especially in such a small restaurant. Oh well. They have a list of about 40 different tapas, and on the back are a couple of platters. We got the 'Bodega Especial' which had bread, Manchego and meats on it.

It was really delicious. The cheese was good, though not as good as the one I had in Spain, daahhhling. I was really really surprised by the ham (the one in the middle) - I'm not sure whether it was Parma or Serrano or something else altogether but it was SO tender and melty. Far and away the best air-dried ham I've ever had. However (and it's not a good however) there was some chorizo on it. Two kinds, to be precise. And that was the problem - the cured, salami kind was delicious, but there was also the sausage kind which I'm pretty sure you have to cook to eat. And it was raw. I was sick later that night, but there were other reasons why I could have been so. I'm just not sure I'd risk it again. It was the only blemish, though.

Other tapas:

We got Spanish omelette, ribs (which there aren't a picture of), garlic prawns, and 'Rollitos', which were mozzarella wrapped in the same ham as before and grilled. The prawns were über delicious, and we mopped up all of the garlic butter with some bread (which was also delicious and really soft.) The ribs were really really tender, but I wasn't a massive fan of the sauce they came in - it was a bit too barbecue-y. Frank liked them though. The tortilla was really good - nice and moist. And finally, the Rollitos were REALLY good - the ham you know I love, and the mozzarella was all soft and melty.

Here is Frank's beer, of which he forced me to take a photograph:

And I had (one too many) gin and tonics. But for one of them, the lime was missing and they brought me it, all on its own little plate. I thought it looked funny.

We had puddings. A bad idea. Not because they weren't good, we were just SO FULL.
 I had crème brûlée and Frank had Lumpy Bumpy. No, I don't know either. It looked chocolatey, but I could be wrong.

Mine was good, though, and Frank ate all of his.

It was a lovely evening. Even if I did have too much gin; and if I said how much, you'd laugh. Because I hardly had any. Oh well!

So, on a scale of one to yummy? Maybe a 17.

Monday, 14 February 2011

The food of a Very Long Weekend

Okay, so in terms of a long weekend,Wednesday to Sunday could be called an extravagance. But who cares? It's my blog, man, and ain't no-one gonna mess with that. Or something.

Anyhow! Tea fron Tuesday:

Squid pasta! I had some frozen squid that I cooked with some parsley, basil, tomatoes, chilli and lots of garlic. It was fairly delicious but it would have been nicer if I had any white wine left.

I went back to Ketchup on Wednesday with my friends to sample another delicious burger. I had the Peppercorn Burger, which has 'Sizzling, hickory-smoked bacon, melted pepper-jack cheese and peppercorn sauce with cispy onion straws and tomatoes.'

It was quite nice - the pepper-jack cheese was an absolute revelation. It was delicious. The burger was a bit on the small and dry side compared to last time, but it was still good. The peppercorn sauce was quite yummy. But anyway, I don't think I'll have it again - not when there's 12 burgers I haven't tried and plenty of other options. I managed to persuade Emily and Louise to get pudding...

Mmmm, ice-cream sundae. It was good if a bit generic. But very very pretty.

Anyway, then I went home for yet another visit. But this time I had a reason - I had to go the dentist. Yuk. But at least I got to have a pre-dentist breakfast:

Mmmm, so good. I love McDonalds breakfasts. They're one of my many weaknesses.

I was a bit stuvk for what to eat when I got back, seeing as the fridge was practically empty. But they had a special offer on at M&S - get a pack of stir-fry vegetables, a pack of cooked noodles, and a sachet of stir-fry sauce for £3.50 (which isn't bad for two people). I don't usually like those sauces, but this one was M&S and it seemed like it was worth a go. I only used half the packet, and I threw in some frozen prawns too. It was really quite nice and I froze the rest of the sauce for another time.

Also at M&S was a reduced pie - oooh, lavvly.

It was meant to serve three but we shared it between the two of us.... We had it with green beans and gravy.  It looks a bit thin and short on filling in the picture but it was SO good.  There was loads of sauce and chicken which was super moist. Mmmm. Sadly my camera had a bit of a funny turn so the only good pictures are wierdly yellow, and the only not yellow picture is rubbish. But here it is anyway.

So it was a very good weekend. I ate some more things too (Obviously.) but they deserve their own posts. Watch this space....

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Burger... And chips.

I mistakenly worked a burger into my meal plan, foolishly forgetting I'm going back to Ketchup on Wednesday. Oh well. You can never have too much minced fried cow. That's what I always say, anyway.

So I got one of my lovely Marks and Sparks frozen burgers out of the freezer and left it to defrost. Well, that's not very interesting actually. Sorry. I fried some new potatoes in some sunflower oil and added my burger.

I melted some nasty cheese slices on top (mmmm, so horrible and yet so delicious). Though actually I added them way too early so they sort of ended up sliding off a bit. Never mind. I toasted my bun, added ketchup and French's mustard - I love that stuff - to the top and mayo to the bottom. I plonked on my burger, shoved on a handful of lettuce and some gherkin slices and ate it. Blimey, it was so good.

I somehow neglected to take a picture of my chips - I was probably too busy stuffing my face - but they looked much like they did in the first picture only browner. Only difference was, te cheese that slid off my burger ended up going all over the chips and they went all crispy and cheesy and salty. Sometimes accidents can be the best.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Emergencies, Ikea and Mussels

I somehow thought on Friday that a small McDonald's cheeseburger - eaten at around 4 - would do me for my tea after a hard day's shopping. Oh, what a fool I was.

Oh well. An emergency tea was called for. Luckily, I STILL had the remnants of that chorizo hanging around so I reckoned I'd just fry it and make a sandwich. But there wasn't that much left, and I chanced upon a tin of new potatoes in my cupboard. I fried it all together and ate it with some salsa and sour cream. And of course some bread and butter. I am English, after all.

It filled the gap.

We went on a trip to Ikea - my favourite shop ever - on Saturday and naturally we went to the café for lunch. I had gravad lax which was delicious as always, and apple cake which wasn't cake. It was more like a tart, but it was still delicious. My friends all had meatballs. (Of course I stole one, who do you think I am?)

I keep forgetting to take pictures of my food, especially when I'm out. I haven't got used to this whole food-blogging lark yet. That's why pictures of my food tend to be half-eaten. Sorry about that...

My friend Emily wanted me to take a picture of her pudding, so here it is: (though actually I'm quite sure it was her that took the picture...)

I had a small nibble; it was delicious.

Yesterday I was stuck for what to have for dinner. I was wandering round the shops in a sort of confused and hungry daze and I saw these:

Meh, I thought. Why not.

Then I remembered this delicious dish of mussels I'd had a while ago that were with tomato sauce and black olives. I fried lots of garlic and spring onion in lots of butter with some green chilli, added some chopped tinned tomatoes and black olives, and the mussels, some parsley and some basil and let it simmer away for a minute or two.

I ate them with some bread. They were good. Though, I suppose, not as good as fresh mussels (since these ones were already cooked) - but the only fresh mussels I could find came in a bag that looked like it might serve about six people. Oh well. They were tasty and just what I felt like.

It was a good weekend.

Friday, 4 February 2011


All right, relatives who are reading. I know monkfish is expensive...! I wasn't prepared for quite how expensive, though. A chunk as big as my (tiny) fist cost me three quid(!)

The rest of the stuff was in my fridge though, and needing eating. So a meal for £3 isn't that bad. Anyhow, I still had loads of chorizo left, so I thought I'd just go along with some of the stuff I've cooked recently, though I can't remember exactly what I did. I think I fried some chorizo, and fished it out, then fried a couple of spring onions and some cumin and smoked paprika in the oil. I chucked in one of those tiny bags of veg from Marks and Spencers, one that had cabbage, leek, and broccoli in. Then I tipped in a small tin of borlotti beans and some Tesco tomatoes and garlic.

I chopped up the monkfish into strips and tossed them in some chipotle and smoked paprika.

Then I fried them, shoved them on top of the stew-thing with lots of parsley, lime juice and spring onion and stuffed my face.

It was delicious. Though, I do have to say, I wasn't that impressed with the monkfish. It just tasted generically fishy to me - it could have been cod or haddock, though it was slightly firmer. I've had it barbequed at a restaurant and it was really meaty and delicious, so p'raps that's the way to go.

Anyhow, I cook that stew fairly often because it's so easy and delicious, but the addition of fish is a new one and I think I'll need to experiment a bit more.

On a scale of one to yummy, then, a 14.

Update: I did actually chuck the chorizo back in again. It didn't just sit there on the side!...

Thursday, 3 February 2011


I was at home at the weekend and my fair and revered mother made a curry and it got me thinking. I hadn't made a curry all the time I've been at uni, so naturally...

I made what is known in our house as 'spicy sauce' and comes via a Nigel Slater recipe which is called something along the lines of Cardamom Chicken. It's really easy and delicious - you just fry onions and garlic and chicken, add turmeric and cardamom and something else (either coriander or cumin, I can't remember which) and some stock - then, when it's syrupy and the chicken's cooked, you add equal amounts of yoghurt and cream. It's my little sister's favourite - she won't eat chicken, 'spicy' things or rice in any other combination - and always requested for special occasions.

It looks so pretty when you stir in the cream.

Well, that's not a very good picture. But it does, honest. I was going to add some coriander and green chilli but I thought it would be a bit sacrilegious and I wanted it to taste like home. Which it totally did.

I was going to have rice, but I had some lentils in the cupboard and I wanted something spicy too, so I made dahl. It was a bit more complicated than the curry but suffice to say it was delicious - and had the necessary coriander and chilli too.

It turned out a bit soupy, so I'll use less water next time. Comment if you want the recipe, it's a bit long-winded to type.

Anyhow, we ate it all up - well mostly, I just had the leftovers for my tea today - with naan and mango chutney. I think the dahl could have done with a bit more chilli and a pinch of salt, but the Spicy Sauce was fab as usual.

I think I'll definitely be making more curries in the future... Watch this space! No, seriously. My viewings are dropping like flies.

So, on a scale of one to yummy? About a 16!