30/11/2015: Roast Jerusalem artichoke, hazelnut and goats cheese salad – River Cottage
This is a great, healthy dish that uses great seasonal ingredients: Jerusalem artichokes, hazelnuts, winter salad leaves, and tastes delicious! I was pretty excited about using some hard goat’s cheese as it’s something I haven’t really used much. Having said that, I think you could probably replace this with any hard, mild cheese if you didn’t want to buy hard goat’s cheese just for this dish. I’d also never had Jerusalem artichokes before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. They’re fairly sweet when roasted and similar to other root veg like parsnips, and they were delicious with the thyme and bay leaves. The squeeze of lemon is an essential burst of acidity in this dish that rounds it all off nicely. What a simple and lovely winter salad?!
01/12/2015: Watercress salad with persimmons and hazelnuts – Martha Stewart
I saw persimmons (sharon fruit) in the supermarket when I was perusing the seasonal produce section and thought I could find something nice and fresh to make with them. I hadn’t actually tried them before so I didn’t quite know what to expect, but they are delicious and sweet, and really easy to prepare because there aren’t any big seeds or a stone. This salad was a great use for them and really tasty. I had some salad left over for lunch and I ate the last persimmon chopped up with some pieces of hard hoat’s cheese which worked really well!
02/12/2015: Kale, cabbage, and carrot chopped salad with maple sesame vinaigrette – Gourmande in the Kitchen
Another easy salad for a week night this time with finely chopped kale, pak choi and Chinese leaf, and an Asian maple and sesame dressing. I’ll be making a lot of this for my packed lunches!
Lizi: Arch burger – The Diner, Spitalfields
I was meeting a friend tonight and I knew that Mark was going to be having pulled pork at his department Christmas do, so I ordered the arch burger which is a beef burger topped with Monterey Jack cheese and pulled pork. My friend and I also ordered some waffle fries to share and some hanger fries topped with smokey onions and burger sauce – both were delicious! The burger was huge, perfectly cooked, and I made it much further through than I thought I would and perhaps further than I should have done…
Mark: Pulled pork pizza – Bounce, Farringdon
I was out for the IT Christmas party tonight at a bar called Bounce. If you haven’t heard of this place before, it’s a ping pong bar! We had a early table reserved for dinner and then two ping pong tables for 2 hour. A doubles tournament was organised but alas I only made the semis. The three courses were actually very good, and the pulled pork pizza was delicious. I know you can’t really go wrong with pulled pork but the pizza base was great.
04/12/2015: Salade Aveyronnaise – inspired by PAUL
Mark and I had this salad at PAUL sometime last year and we thought we’d have a go at making it ourselves. We’ve been on the lookout for smoked duck all year and finally found it when looking for whole allspice berries in Waitrose in the Oxford Street John Lewis. Seeing as this is a bit of an indulgent salad, I decided to go all out and head to Androuet at Spitalfields to get a really gorgeous piece of Stilton. The cheese was full of flavour, perfectly balanced with a beautiful creaminess that makes it almost melt in your mouth. It was the perfect accompaniment to the tender smoked duck.
05/12/2015: Ravioli di carne fungi e gorgonzola – 189 Piccadilly
We were out at a friend’s birthday meal at 189 Piccadilly and went for the beef ravioli with a mushroom and gorgonzola sauce. The ravioli were really tasty, but I wanted more gorgonzola flavour in the sauce and felt like it was overpowered by garlic.
06/12/2015: Roast partridge with pears
We were at Saddleback Farm Shop this weekend and they had a huge selection of meat as a lot of the wild game is in season such as pheasant and these lovely partridges. We decided to roast them using Nigel Slater’s recipe because we had a lot of the ingredients already, but mainly because it uses pears which made us feel Christmassy! The meat tasted beautiful and we had some steamed curly kale that we also bought from Saddleback that had been locally grown in Faringdon.