Honey and
Ricotta
a food journal

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Pulled Pork Brioche Buns with Miso Coleslaw


B has been on a mission to make pulled pork for quite a while now. He finally bought a huge hunk of pork and set about it himself, leaving me with whatever I wanted to make to go with it. That was of course brioche buns, bbq sauce and coleslaw. 

Mini buns, very well pulled pork, miso coleslaw and classic bbq sauce came together to create many little balls of scrumptiousness. A muddle of recipes from around and about, and a little bit of improvisation, which all ended up sitting together rather beautifully. Even if it was a rather long weekend project. 


For the pulled pork and BBQ sauce we used this Sorted recipe.
I'm not going to tell you where the brioche bun recipe was from as they weren't the best, and I'm sure you can find better. I'll let you know when I make some which I'd recommend to you, some which don't involve emergency changes and lots of stress.
For the miso coleslaw, we based the recipe vaguely on this Honestly Healthy one. It just involves chopping up a random mix of crunchy veg and tossing it in a dressing of white miso, tahini, lime juice, olive oil and a few chilli flakes, adjusting amounts and quantities as we went. I got a little bit addicted to this!


Happy Sunday! I hope this provides you with a bit of cooking inspiration for the week ahead!




Saturday, 27 September 2014

Cider with Rosie: PB&J Sandwich Cookies


When the wonderful Cider With Rosie posted these peanut butter & jam sandwich cookies, it was only a matter of time before I found myself eating my body weight in them. Pre-bake off watching on Wednesday seemed a suitable time. 


Bake two peanut butter rich, super squidgey, chewy cookies, and glue them together with a big splodge of peanut butter frosting & a dollop of not too sweet jam. Peanut butter frosting is possibly the best thing ever. I keep sneaking teaspoons-full of it from the fridge when B isn't looking. I may have to make up another batch of frosting just for sneaking. Or maybe for smothering on toast. Or spooning on to porridge. That would all be yum. We were lucky enough to have a large jar of B's papa's new season blackberry jam which just added to the absolute bombshell of amazingness that these cookies are.


I don't need to tell you how much I smiled eating these. The naughtiest but bestest cookies I've made in a while, and they've all disappeared far too quickly.


Friday, 26 September 2014

5 Things

5 happy moments from this sleepy week:

2. Putting my iPod on shuffle
3. Cider with Rosie's PB & J cookies
4. A new Cleverly Wrapped scarf
5. Sneaking in 2 extra minutes in bed in the morning

I hope you've all had a magical week. Happy weekend!

X

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Bill Granger: Chocolate Chunk Meringue Cake


Whenever B and I want to make a slightly-more-fancy-than-normal dinner, but we don't have the time to do that, Bill Granger's book 'Easy' is always pulled off the bookshelf. Well, off the huge pile of books on the floor as we have yet to create a bookshelf. It's a bit like playing Jenga.

Anyway, what I'm here to tell you about is not my lack of bookshelf, but about chocolate and pistachio meringue. Because that is clearly super exciting. Much more exciting than cookbook Jenga. I'm going to steal Bill's eloquent words here to describe this mass of meringue piled high with cream and filled with chunks of chocolate and crunchy pistachios. He writes 'Gooey melted chocolate and crunchy pistachios come together in this free-form chewy meringue'. He then goes on to mention something about pangs of guilt from eating it. I chose to ignore that. Pangs of guilt from eating chocolate meringue? I think not, Mr. Granger.



This was honestly the easiest meringue I've ever made, done with a delicate hand and a rough circle drawn on a piece of parchment paper, it explodes into a giant storm cloud of meringue, which is made even more giant with some freshly whipped cream and whatever you want to sprinkle on top. It tastes best as soon as it's made, so I recommend you eat it all in one evening, and ignore any guilt! Here's the recipe. Get in the kitchen.



Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Feta & Avocado Dip



Some nights, cooking really isn't what I want to do. After those long, exhausting days of running around town, of things goings wrong, of disasters being resolved, of not enough caffeine and too much eating on the go, all I want to do when I get home is crash with my feet up and pour a glass of wine. Except then my tummy starts rumbling, and I need to eat. That's when chopping up some vegetables, grabbing some fresh bread, and whizzing up a couple of things from the fridge becomes a dinner go-to. Last week's dip went down a treat. If you feel like you're having one of those evenings, then simply whizz up a large chunk of feta, half an avocado, juice of half a lemon, a glug of olive oil, lots of fresh thyme, chilli flakes, salt and pepper until smooth. Make it look pretty in a bowl for your own satisfaction and ta-dah. Long day made much more better by a zingy, fresh supper.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Rachel Phipps: Chocolate, Summer Berry & Amaretti Cheesecake Cups


When Rachel came up with this complex sounding (but actually super simple), chocolate concoction on her (far too brilliant) blog last month, it registered in my memory and came out to play on date night last week.

Nothing will go wrong when the base of a pudding is crumbled amaretti biscuits, the middle layer is chocolate melted with mascarpone and cream cheese, and scattered on top are red berries. It's simple, a little bit showy, and a lot delicious. I doubled the recipe so we could have it on non-date night too. That was a good idea.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Drink, Shop & Do


S was in London on a rare visit yesterday, so tea, cake and a catch up was in order. Somewhere central. After a little (read: long) time on Google, we settled on Drink, Shop & Do at Kings Cross. It was good place to settle.

The front of this café is a little gift shop selling sweets, cards, tea, and all sorts of brightly coloured bits and bobs which I struggle to walk past without buying. Up the stairs in front of you and you're greeted by multicoloured pom-poms, pastel coloured tables, vases of flowers, a bar covered in cakes, a lot of loud chatter and a few too many hen parties.

Grateful we weren't part of the hen parties in sky-high heels, fancy dress, feather boas and lots of inflatables (although I did quite fancy a heart-shaped lollipop), we settled down to a magically enormous pot of tea and a slice of cake.


Our waiter recited all one million cakes to us (he should have got a prize for that), and after a lot of deliberation, we settled on good-old carrot. Choice well made: spongey and light, but with the sweet carrots peaking through, gratefully not drowned in cream cheese frosting.

But the tea was the real highlight. A giant pot between us filled with the suitably named 'Alice in Wonderland' blend: Rooibos earl grey, honeybush, camomile, lavender, rose & cornflowers. Drinking pink tea out of vintage teacups was a wonderfully girly way to spend an afternoon, and did make us feel as if we were in a wonderland.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Plum-Almond Cake


So when we're not eating figs in this little flat at the moment, we're eating plums. B's mum sent us back to London with a huge basketful the other weekend which I immediately turned into a plum compote, and then regretted when I came across this cake recipe. So to the shops it was for some slightly-less wonderful plums to be mixed with almonds, baked, and devoured.


The 'topping' on this cake became a 'bottom' for me - it melted down until it hovered just above the plums. Recipe to be worked on over the next couple of weeks. I'll let you know if I manage to make it float. But the rest of the cake was fluffy and light and oh-so moreish. 

Friday, 19 September 2014

5 Things

5 happy moments from this week (which I've found rather difficult):

1. Franco Manca with maman, T & B
2. Film night
4. Pyjamas
5. Cuddles

X

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Yummy Supper: Fig and Almond Torte


It would be an understatement to say that B and I are a slightly obsessed with figs at the moment. My walk to work and back takes me past our local Turkish greengrocer every day, and I can't seem to get myself past that shop without nipping in and falling for their '3 for £1' offer on figs. It just seems a little too good to be true in central London.

Figs in an almond torte sounded like a rather pretty little combination. We needed something to go with our weekend coffee(s), so this seemed to fit the purpose. With a little splash of greek yoghurt, and some chocolatey-rich coffee, this was the loveliest and laziest of Sunday mornings.


The recipe is here if you need something to perk up your weekend - it's going to be one for staying indoors snuggled up in a duvet!


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Blueberry and Cinnamon Flapjacks


After a huge and perfect flapjack from Albion on Tuesday in the office, I was back in flapjack-obsessive mode. So when I hit tea o'clock and didn't have a flapjack to accompany said tea on Wednesday, I was rather upset. Pre-bake off on Wednesday evening therefore became flapjack making time. Super quick and easy, adding in whatever extra treats I could find, these flapjacks were chewy, crumbly and squidgy. A perfectly acceptable breakfast, snack and pudding. Versatile creatures, these flapjacks.


Ingredients

300g rolled oats
180g golden syrup
20g black treacle
170g butter
4 tbsp light brown sugar
2 handfuls of fresh blueberries
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 handful of chocolate chips (optional)

Method

1. Heat oven to 180ºC
2. Grease and line a square baking tin
3. Melt the butter, sugar, syrup, treacle, sugar and cinnamon together in a saucepan
4. Mix in the oats
5. Chuck in the blueberries and chocolate and mix together
6. Sneak a spoonful into your mouth while noone's looking
7. Bake for 25 minutes until golden
8. Cool in tin for 10 minutes before cutting into squares
9. Leave to cool completely before removing from tin

These will last for at least a week. No more lonely tea breaks.


Monday, 15 September 2014

Plum Torte


Lottie & Doof told all his readers very simply: 'Make this cake'. Obligingly, I did. 

It's the simplest cake you'll make. And I know you'll make it because you've been told to do so. Almost as much fruit as cake batter, jammy plums pops in every mouthful, the sweet spongey cake surrounding and protecting them, as if those plums were little jewels. 


I'm not going to say anymore. Just make this cake. The recipe is here.


Sunday, 14 September 2014

Rocket & Squash: Stilton & Fig Puff Pastry


B is now back at uni, back to student life. Except this new student life seems to involve a lot more work than our previous student life. This means evenings aren't the chilled out eating, catching up, relaxing time that they used to be. To try and draw him away from the books and homework and lectures and classes and revision, we've agreed that one evening a week we will have a  night off work and study-related things, cook something new and a bit different, and have an extra glass of wine.

So for our first of these evenings, the stilton & fig puff pastry tart on the fabulous blog, Rocket & Squash, looked like the perfect solution. Ed's opening sentence is 'Few things sit better on the effort:reward curve than a puff pastry tart'. Sounds like a good weeknight faux-fancy supper solution to me. Especially when he goes on to describe the grating and crumbling and more crumbling of stilton all over the pastry and figs. We got through it pretty quickly, and will be making it again pretty soon, before the figs all disappear for another year.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Brunch at Ozone


Two girlfriends offered to head East to meet me for brunch on a Saturday morning. An offer from West Londoners to head East doesn't happen often, so I had to show them the best we have to offer over on this side of town. So Ozone it was.

Ozone is one of the most beautifully designed coffee shops. Being run by New Zealenders means it most definitely has a Kiwi feel. A huge, open space, exposed pipework, the most powerful coffee smell from the beans being roasted downstairs, enormous windows flooding the space with natural light. I could easily while away many hours sitting in a window seat with many cups of coffee.

On Saturday, however, we tucked ourselves away in a booth. A little bit of privacy and a lot of view into the kitchen. (We like views into the kitchen). With coffee in arm's reach, we only needed a quick glance at the menu to decide what to eat. 


Fruit bread with poached plums, ricotta and hazelnuts for me and S. We only needed to read the word ricotta to be sold on that one.


Eggs benedict with house cured salmon on sweet potato bubble 'n squeak cakes with bearnaise for H. Two beautifully pert towers of scrumptiousness.

A favourite place for a much needed catch-up on all things summer travels, work, friends and family related. I'm hoping this was enough to make them come back East some time soon...

Highlight: The coffee perfume
Lowlight: I want more fruit bread. But that's because I'm greedy.


Ozone, 11 Leonard Street, London, EC2A 4AQ

Friday, 12 September 2014

5 Things

5 happy moments from this week:

1. Flapjacks
2. Early evening walk to yoga along the canal
3. W & R's beautiful 'Save the Date'
4. Breakfast with B
5. Figs

I hope you've had a beautiful week.

X

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Puglia Snapshots






























































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