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Monday, 25 February 2013

Life: My Greedy Weekend

This weekend was busy busy where food was concerned.

It was our three year anniversary so we treated ourselves to the Michelin starred L'autre Pied in Marylebone. We had a 7 course tasting menu which was very reasonable £49 each. Unfortunately I felt a bit unwell so couldn't manage the matching wines (I asked for a peppermint tea which perplexed the waiter somewhat), but luckily L'autre Pied's food is so fresh and balanced that I was still able to appreciate the excellent cooking. The Tokyo parsnips were a revelation and i've never tasted a better sorbet. If I had to mention any negatives, I would say that, as with many fine restaurants, salt was used a little too liberally and the petit fours didn't match the other courses in terms of enjoyment. All in all, however, it was an incredible experience and we can't wait to return.

Martin gave me Ottolenghi's cookbook as an anniversary gift at the restaurant. I can't explain how pleased I am with it. I was very poor company on the way home and insisted on reading it the whole way back on the tube. I love Ottolenghi's in Angel - it's proprietors come from Israel and therefore cook book is full of vibrant, healthy, super tasty salads and accompaniments. It's giving me so much inspiration on how to liven up my salads and vegetables. Take their french bean, mangetout, orange and hazelnut accompaniment for example. So simple, yet so exciting to eat. I also love the fact that they serve it at room temperature - I think it's a really brave decision and keeps the taste fresh and flavoursome. I was also very excited by the meringue recipe (mine don't always work perfectly) and I like testing out new recipes. However, I see that their recipe insists upon using a freestanding mixer. :( Until I move into a place with a kitchen larger than a cupboard this can never happen. I'll be sharing nuggets of inspiration from this cookbook in later posts.

Saturday afternoon was spent making macarons with my friend. She had spent some time researching recipes online and found a chocolate macaron recipe written by Felicity Cloake featured in the Guardian. Felicity had tested many macaron recipes and then, using her findings, had written her own fail-safe recipe. It was so lovely baking together and we were really pleased with the results. The macarons had a lovely, toffee chewy texture and would please any chocolate lovers. My biggest advice re making macarons would be to use electronic weighing scales to measure the egg white (75g). Making macrons is like chemistry - every quantity has to be absolutely precise.

Check out the recipe we used:

Later in the evening we went for dinner with our friends Sharenja and Ben. We ate some yummy goats cheese stuffed peppers for starter and then Sharenja had made a chicken and chorizo bean stew. It was very tasty and the chorizo was the best I have ever tasted. Apparently Ben's parents had brought it back with them from Bordeaux so it was the real deal. We finished the meal with vanilla ice cream and Sharenja's signature raspberry coulis.

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