|White pocket vest - Topshop|
Sheer sea foam shirt - vintage
Black leggings - American Apparel
Multi strap nude wedges - Oasis (!)
|Khaki shirt - Army surplus store|
Peace Tee - Project Social Tee at Topshop
Meadow print jeans - Topshop
Ankle boots - Acne
|Yellow Beanie - Berlin thrifted|
Crinkled linen mix maxi - Weekday
Black Leigh Jeans - Topshop
Boots - Acne
Jewels: Crystal trio ring/butterfly wing necklace/ silver chain
Ottoman Hands at Topshop/Ben's Butterflies/chazza shop
|Necklace - thrifted|
Mohair cropped turtleneck knit - Topshop Boutique
Salmon slinky maxi - Weekday
Converse High Tops
If ever there is confit on the menu, pork, duck, fish or even the presence of confit garlic it is a given that I would pick that dish over anything else. Why, you may ask, simply because the flavour is so concentrated but yet so well rounded - eating something that has been confit-ed is eating that ingredient in its most optimum form. From bubbling away in rich fat for enough hours you need for a decent nights sleep, the meat transforms; its succulence mutliplied a hundred fold, juices slink out but are captured within the fat and fortified leaving valuable confit jelly, the fat takes on the flavour from the meat and can be reused for another confit or for roasting potatoes. I followed Ruhlman & Polcyn's instructions from their Charcuterie book...
|Make the rub: 10 juniper berries, 4 cloves, 4 garlic cloves sliced,|
6 torn bay leaves, small bunch of thyme
|Rub the Rub: once all ingredients have been roughly pulverised |
rub into 6 duck legs with 2 handfuls of salt and lots of fresh
pepper - leave in the fridge overnight
Rinse and Dry: rinse off salt and seasonings and dry meat with paper towels
Submerge in Fat: put duck in cooking pot (make sure there are snug)
and submerge in the glorious fat, 1.5 kg of it!
Bring to a gentle simmer on the stove then transfer to a preheated oven 82˚C for 6-10 hours
As you can see there are many hours to the final dish but effort is very minimal however results are out of this world!! I crisped up the skin of the duck in a hot frying pan, rendering out some fat then stuck it under the grill for 5 minutes. In the last hour of confit-ing I slow cooked puy lentils with a bouquet garni, carrots, mini potato cubes, onions and garlic in veg stock, in the last few minutes added spinach and crushed in the potato to thicken, and just because it was readily available stirred in a tablespoon of duck/goose fat.
300 - 302 St Paul's Road London, N1 2LHTelephone: 020 7226 2733
Amongst the outlining rail sleeper shelves and bare bulbed lighting you can't help but feel you have been here before. Approaching its second year of drawing in the locals and those in search of an honest Italian meal, it may be the paper topped tables or those curved back wooden chairs that take me back. Whatever it is it works so well, but I guess it was always going to be a winning combination with head chef Tim Siadatan who has worked at British food institutions Moro and St. John, and Jordan Frieda roaming the front of house roost hailing from Petersham Nurseries.
The menu changes daily and is kept tight with four main sections; antipasti, oven and the pasta based primi and charcoal. The latter two are house specialities, all pasta is hand made daily by the chefs and the smell of the burning coals is distinctive to this little corner of Highbury. We started with some grilled squid with cannellini beans and lambs lettuce. The textures were delicate but punctuated, tender and sweet squid, creamy beans and curls of crunch from the lettuce. We also sampled the tagliarini with Amalfi lemon, marjoram and Parmesan which was incredible. Such simple flavours from the zest, juice, micro shavings but all bound together harmoniously by the velvety strands of pasta.
The mains carried on on the same good footing, from the grill was the mackerel with Castellccio lentils and salsa rossa, which would transport you straight to the side of Keith Floyd on one of his adventures across the Med. The other fish dish was plaice with a cool crunchy kohlrabi salad and drizzled with sweet shrimp nuggets, each component is very familiar but with together they are
I often cannot make my mind up between two starters so opt for having both as my main. This time I went for calves brain ravioli and a bitter salad. Having only ever eaten calves brains pan fried and on toast to use it as a filling intrigued me. Fried, the taste was not dissimilar to a refined, subtly flavoured egg but creamed then cushioned in between the pasta sheets it excelled. With only sage butter to dress the dish the spotlight was on the ravioli and it sang out softly yet defiantly. Being so rich the punchiness of the blood orange, radicchio and pomegranate sharpened everything up bringing a balance to the richness.
For desert we shared the amalfi lemon tart and the caramel panna cotta, fresh in the memory of making a vanilla one a couple of days before I wanted to try a "chefy" one. It wobbled naughtily and oozed a glorious smoked caramel. On the tongue it was just sublime, a fine texture of dreams as if every particle had been sieved within an inch of it's life. The tart was true to it's name, the filling had bite but carried buttery undertones that ran through to the base which mellowed prowess of the citrus.
A couple of Friday nights ago there was a distinct bark burning smell in the air wafting along Carnaby St, as I turned the corner to Newburgh there was the expected snaking queue, no doubt the Pitt Cue Co. had landed. Following in the same steps as the Meatwagon to the Meateasy and now Meat Liquor, van to permanent address was a natural progression for the guys behind the Pitt Cue Co. In brief for those who were not counting down the days with me since my last post Pitt Cue Co. Parks Up what they offer is delectable melt in the mouth barbecue, not to be muttered in the same sentence as Bodean's - this is far more superior in quality, taste and passion.
Below are a few hazy photos, when we eventually got a seat in the cosy eating area, no complaints though we loved the atmosphere in the bar with some smoked sausage being handed out whet our appetites! My meat loving companion and I shared two platters, one of the pulled pork and beef ribs which was served with home pickles and sourdough bread. Side wise we went for the deep fried pickled shitakes, which were a perfect textural and flavour boost to the mains. Apart from the tangy slaw (I am still pining for the creamy cumin one from the van) everything was perfect and will be venturing there again for sure, when the crowds have subsided, whenever that will be!
Last week I was in Copenhagen for work, here's my three days in pictures. There were plenty of bikes, but two stood out; one covered in black sheepskin with dangerous horn handle bars and a perriwinkle pretty lady bike with embossed paisley seat. Gorgeous florals on porcelain teacup sets at Royal Copenhagen and on cork soled shoes by Mini Market (these also came with a matching bomber!) The city was full of incredible home stores with aisles filled with affordable treats, anything from vibrant pegs to tile print wrapping paper. There was time for a quick cocktail at Karriere inbetween cooeing over gorgeousness from feminine tailoring at Wackerhaus and beautiful metalwork at Cornelia Webb, squeezing in a supreme version of our native teacake but covered in dark chocolate and double the amount of whipped cream!