Tag Archives: broccoli

Fette Sau, Brooklyn, NYC

My stomach deserved nothing but the best on its last day in New York. A final treat before all meaty, carby goodness was replaced by a vegan health kick back home.

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Fette Sau came highly recommended by bloggers, NY ‘must eat’ lists and friends. We were told to get there early to avoid the crowds, which suited our timings well as a 9pm flight sat on the horizon.

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One way to describe the interior is an ‘all-American meat canteen’. You queue, you order, you pay, you sit, you eat. Seat wise, you can either enjoy the dark, man-friendly, no-frills interior, or the sunshine filled wooden tables outside.

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For just $20, the meat man gave us enough slow cooked slabs for three people, minus the chicken and sausages (they were irrelevant to us). We also had spongy, buttery brioche buns, BBQ beans and our ‘desperate to be healthy’ cold, not particularly tasty, broccoli (these men know their meat, not their veggies).

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Our ribs were covered in sweet, glazed meat. The brisket fell apart on the fork and the pork belly? Well that just melted in the mouth. Oh yes, it pays to slow cook meat between 12 and 18 hours.

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We didn’t drink (although there were some interesting wines and local brews on offer) and we didn’t order dessert. We just filled ourselves with enough BBQ’d meat to help us refuse revolting plane food at 33,000ft.

Fette Sau 354 Metropolitan Avenue (Havemeyer Street), Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Food 4/5 – Price 5/5 – Staff 4/5 – Atmosphere 4/5

Raw Press, Mayfair

I never thought I’d say this, but I can now imagine life without meat and fish. Life where fruit and veg rule my diet, along with pretentious pulses and edible seeds.

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I can thank my lovely almost Vegan housemate for this, along with Deliciously Ella‘s recipe app, Yotam Ottolenghi’s incredible salads and cold-pressed juice bars like Raw Press, which just opened in Mayfair.

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Walk into Raw Press and you’ll feel like you’ve entered a hipster cafe in Brooklyn, or how I imagine every LA restaurant to be. It’s shiny, clean and white, with splashes of colour from glass juice bottles and big bowls of salad. It magically makes you feel healthy the moment you arrive.

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I was lucky enough to taste all their cold-pressed juices, which made picking my favourites easy. No. 2 Green is my ultimate thirst quencher, packed with superfood goodness from its combination of apple, cucumber, celery, kale, spinach, Swiss chard and lemon (£5.50/£7.50).

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Then, for something a little naughtier, it has to be No. 7 Coffee & Mylk (£5.50/£7.50). Made with almonds, coconut water, dates, Himalayan salt, vanilla bean and cold brew coffee, it blows any regular flavoured milk out the water.

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Now some of you will be wondering what a cold-pressed juice is. Well, the answer is simple – instead of using a heat inducing centrifugal juicer that lowers the nutritional value of the juice, these bottles of deliciousness are made with a hydraulic pressed juice extraction that’s slow and, best of all, cold.

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But Raw Press isn’t just about the juice. There’s also an amazing range of vegan salads and snacks by the immensely talented Ella Woodward. For less than a tenner, you can order a giant plate of scrumptious Zucchini Noodles with homemade Brazil Nut pesto, Marinated Kale & Sweet Potato Salad, Broccoli & Avocado Salad and Chickpea & Squash Salad. All fantastically tasty and wonderfully good for you.

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And, there’s even a range of sweet treats (I particularly loved Ella’s Energy Bites and Banoffee Pie Pots). But the biggest surprise are her brownies – who knew they could be made with sweet potato and still burst with flavour? Yes the consistency is different, but the feeling of satisfaction when chomping your way through? Exactly the same.

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So there you have it. You can enjoy a varied, delicious diet free from fish and meat, which juice bars like Raw Press inspire. I’m not saying goodbye to sausage & mash, spag bol or fish pie, but vegetables are now playing a larger part in my life – hell, I even threw a vegan dinner party last night.

Raw Press, 32 Dover Street, London W1S 4NE

Kaspar’s Seafood Bar & Grill, The Savoy

Kaspar is not just any cat. He’s is two foot high, shiny black cat that’s been The Savoy’s Fourteenth Guest since 1926.

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He’s reassured superstitious diners at a tables of 13 for almost 100 years. I won’t go into why – a simple ‘Google’ will fill the gaps – but I shall say that his job’s so important, The Savoy named its river restaurant after him following the multi-million pound restoration of 2010.

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The restaurant is Art Deco fabulousness, just like Kaspar. Overlooking the Thames, it’s bustling, vibrant and relaxed – a stark contrast to the prim and proper Thames Foyer next door.

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Covered in mirrors, turquoise chairs, a chequerboard marble floor and brass railings, everything circles the central seafood bar, which has stunning stalagmites of glass hanging precariously above busy waiters serving Champagne, oysters and other oceanic delights.

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I’ve been to Kaspar’s twice – once for breakfast and the other time at lunch. The breakfast menu is enormous, covering off the classics, the continental, Kaspar’s more unusual Breakfast Favourites and a Japanese and Chinese selection if you fancy something exotic.

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I was drawn to Cornish Crab on an English Muffin with a Fried Egg (£17), but settled with a less adventurous, but absolute favourite, Salmon Royal (also £17). Oozing poached eggs fell on thick cut salmon and lightly toasted muffins, covered in a golden, lemony sauce. On the side, an endless supply of orange juice, fresh strawberry & raspberry tea and rye bread smothered in fruity jam filled my stomach. I was in breakfast heaven.

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Lunchtime was all about the fish, starting with a cured platter from the central bar (£22). Beetroot Cured Halibut, Peppered Monkfish and Star Anise Cured Salmon all had enormous flavour, needing nothing more than a vessel of toast and a squeeze of lemon.

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Dover Sole came ‘from the grill’, covered in a brown caper butter sauce (£35). The simple white meat was succulent and rich, accompanied by well executed sides of Sautéed Spinach and Chilli Garlic Fried Sprouting Broccoli (£4 each).

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If I’m as lucky as Kaspar, I’ll get to dine at his restaurant for a third time – perhaps in the evening when the Thames is aglow with our city’s lights. Until then, I’ll give him a pat on the head and a very well deserved LLE Rating of 8/10.

Kaspar’s Seafood Bar & Grill, The Savoy, The Strand, London WC2R 0EU

Kaspar's Seafood Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

CUT at 45 Park Lane, Mayfair

Wolfgang Puck is the celebrity chef. He has 18 restaurant chains across the world, has written seven cook books, sells his own range of cookware, appliances and gourmet food, and caters for weddings of the rich and famous. Oh, and then there’s the app, website and social media channels. What a busy motherpucker.

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CUT at 45 Park Lane is the start of his London empire. The luxurious steak restaurant smells of money, from the mahogany and leather furniture, to the clientele (I’m pretty sure there was a James Bond villain sat next to us). It also serves bloody brilliant food, even though that comes with a hefty price tag.

Wolfgang Puck and David McIntyre, Executive Chef- CUT at 45 Park Lane

A friend told us not to bother with starters. ‘We’d be too full’, she said. So, we moved straight onto mains, enjoying complimentary cheese puffs and beautiful bread along the way.

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So beautiful, I’ve decided to spend a paragraph talking about it. There were four  types, but the pretzel knot stood out. Sprinkled in salt, it pulled apart like mozzarella and had a flavour that would make Paul Hollywood question his career.

Meat Presentation - CUT at 45 Park Lane (7039)

Before choosing our CUT, the waiter talked us through the options, using his handy prop – a giant plate of raw beef. We nearly went for Wagyu, but couldn’t justify the £84 price tag. So, decided on two cuts of USDA Prime Black Angus Beef, aged 35 days.

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Mine was a medium rare 6oz Petit Cut Filet Mignon (£34) and The Boyfriend went for a rare 10oz New York Sirloin (£38). Both steaks lived up to expectation – they were precisely cooked and had the consistency of butter.

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For sides, we ordered the signature Creamed Spinach with Fried Organic Egg, Rapini (a type of broccoli) with Chilli & ‘Fiore de Sardo’ (an Italian sheep’s milk cheese), and an impressive stack of French Fries (all £7). The creamed spinach was particularly moreish, but a richer accompaniment than we needed.

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Sauce wise, we went for Argentinian Chimichurri, Shallot Red Wine Bordelaise and Béarnaise. At £1 each, they were the most reasonably priced items on the menu, but we were a little annoyed to find béarnaise served with the fries – something they could have pointed out.

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We (I) homed in on the Warm Dark Chocolate Valrhona Soufflé for dessert (£11) – an excellent choice as it turned out. More than enough for two, the waiter poured whipped creme fraiche over the ginormous soufflé, before making a hole in the middle for a neat scoop of Toasted Hazelnut Gianduja Ice Cream and covering the lot in chocolate sauce. It was a beauty to behold.

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As it was The Boyfriend’s birthday, a candlelit Baked Alaska made its way to our table. The white chocolate buttermilk cake with strawberry sauce was a yummy touch by CUT and one that went down very well. Much better than the Petit Four, which we didn’t need, but ate to soften the blow of the bill.

Other than the price, I can’t find fault with CUT, so give it a very respectable and well deserved LLE Rating of 9/10. Time to start saving for my next visit.

CUT at 45 Park Lane, London W1K 1PN

*First exterior shot ‘borrowed’ from the telegraph.co.uk 

CUT at 45 Park Lane on Urbanspoon

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Crunchy Pappardelle

When The Boyfriend gave me Ottolenghi’s book Plenty for my birthday, he promised to make one dish for supper. Four months on, we finally sat down to Yotam’s Crunchy Pappardelle, which was definitely worth the wait.

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Fresh, lemony and fragrant, it was the perfect summer dish and one I’d urge you all to try. So, if you’re not lucky enough to own Yotam’s beautiful book, here’s how you make this lovely recipe (with a few hints and tips from yours truly).

Serves two

Ingredients

  • 50ml olive oil
  • 250g button mushrooms, halved (we used 200g, which was plenty – mind the pun)
  • 100ml white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 thyme sprigs, leaves picked & chopped (we couldn’t get any fresh thyme, so use dried – not as fragrant, but did the job)
  • 1/2 tsp caster sugar
  • 150ml double cream
  • Grated zest of one lemon (we also added the juice of half a lemon)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 20g panko breadcrumbs (crisp, Japanese breadcrumbs, but it’s fine to use the bog standard British type – ours came from M&S)
  • 250g Tenderstem or purple sprouting broccoli (again, we had 200g, which was more than enough)
  • 250g pappardelle (fresh or dried)
  • Salt and black pepper

Method

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the mushrooms until they start to take on a lovely golden colour
  • Add the wine, bay leaf, thyme and sugar
  • Bring to the boil, reduce the liquid to a third
  • Add the cream, plenty of salt and pepper
  • Once happy with the flavour, put the lid on to keep the mixture warm and leave to one side
  • In a bowl, mix the lemon zest, garlic and parsley
  • In a pan, toast the breadcrumbs until crisp and golden (this doesn’t take long and no, you don’t need oil or butter)
  • Add the breadcrumbs to the lemon, garlic and parsley mix and leave to one side
  • Tear off any leaves from the broccoli and cut into 6cm long pieces
  • Blanch the broccoli in boiling salted water for 2mins before draining the water
  • Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling, salted water
  • When the pasta’s almost ready, add the broccoli to the cream sauce and reheat, adding a little of the pasta water (do this slowly as you don’t want to dilute the flavour)
  • Drain the pappardelle and add the cream sauce and half the parsley mix
  • Divide the pasta between two bowls and sprinkle the rest of the parsley mix on top
  • Serve immediately

Mackerel, Broccoli & Chilli Pasta

Question: Which fish is rich in flavour, moist in texture, incredibly cheap and packed with healthy Omega-3?

Answer: Mackerel

Question: Why do so many people turn their noses up at the thought of eating it then?

Answer: Who knows, maybe they’re idiots

I’m a big fish fan so, for me, Mackerel ticks all the boxes, especially when I’m surviving the week on a tenner as I claw my way to payday. I usually buy it smoked and eat it on toast, with salad or even mashed into a pate with soft cheese and horseradish. But, the piece de resistance is my pasta dish below, inspired by Prue Leith and James Ramsden who taught me nothing loves Mackerel more than broccoli and chilli.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 150g smoked Mackerel flaked into pieces with the skin removed (if you like a bit more of a kick, buy the ‘hot smoked’ or ‘peppered’ varieties)
  • 125g tenderstem broccoli cut into bite sized chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 large red chilli, deseeded and cut into small pieces
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • The juice of one lime
  • Salt and pepper
  • 200g linguine

Method

  • Cook the broccoli in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes until the stems are cooked, but crunchy
  • Drain and blanch broccoli in cold water to stop the cooking process. Place in a bowl and leave to one side
  • Start cooking the pasta in boiling salted water
  • As the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the chilli and garlic over a medium heat until the garlic turns golden
  • Add the flaked mackerel and broccoli and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes
  • When the pasta is cooked and drained, add it to the frying pan and stir well
  • Add the lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper
  • Serve with a cold glass of white wine and, whilst you eat, pat yourself on the back for making the Mackerel feel so loved.