B is for banana

Simple to make, tasty and a great way to get rid of those overripe bananas you haven’t had a chance to eat yet.

Decided to try the legendary Mary Berry’s recipe with our own added touch of cinnamon and mixed spice.

its a great recipe, even a novice baker can do it! Honestly, give it a go.

Ingredients all in and bake for 45-50mins at gas mark 160/180C depending on your oven). Then you are banana bread a go go!

Thank you Mary 👍🏽

Mary Berry’s Banana Loaf (Taken from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible)

Ingredients

100g Softened Butter
175g Caster Sugar
2 Large Eggs
2 Ripe Bananas (mashed)
225g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
2 tbsp. Milk

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C / Fan 160C / Gas 4.
2. Lightly grease a 2lb loaf tin, then line the base and sides with baking parchment
3. Measure all ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat for about 2 minutes, until well blended
4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface
5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 1 hour, until well risen and golden brown. A fine skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean if the loaf is ready.
6. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out, peel of the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.

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happy baking x

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“Delizioso!”

We have been so busy  with work that other than neglecting our fish supper followers (huge apologies for that by the way) we have also neglected our duty to food!

So here is a “delizioso” update on a recent sneaky overnighter in Hove we had..

We booked ourselves into a beautiful hotel called “The Claremont” in Hove. Excellent service, very clean, beautiful decor; a definite “must stay ” if you are ever in Hove (www.theclaremont.eu) As soon as we checked in and familiarised ourselves with our surroundings, we got down to the very important issue of “what do we eat for dinner?” Google quickly became our friend and we proceeded to trawl through a list of local eateries and their reviews. One that stood out the most was a little Italian place called “Marrocco’s”. 

Wow! It was fantastic!

The restaurant was simple with no airs or graces. A very friendly,family run and authentic place. The  kitchen was open so you could see all the amazing cooking going on and the smells coming from it were divine.

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To start we ordered “Calamari Fritti” (fresh baby squid, lightly deep fried). And yes, the batter was light as air. The portion was also very generous. Every mouthful was a taste of fresh fish heaven.

 

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Next came the mains. I ordered “Tagliatelle Al Salmonella Zafferano” (Homemade tagliatelle pasta served in a smoked salmon, brandy and saffron sauce with a touch of cream) and hubby ordered two, yes two mains. “Quattro Formaggi” pizza (mixed italian cheeses) and “Risotto Marinara” (Risotto with shellfish, seafood and white wine). As soon as the plates of food arrived at our table, the gorgeous aromas wafted up through our nostrils. The tagliatelle pasta was cooked to perfection and the brandy and saffron sauce complemented the salmon greatly. Again, the portions were generous and we were determined to eat every last bit (our stomachs got the better of us and we had to take a doggy bag with us). The four cheeses on the pizza married together beautifully and the risotto was packed with flavour and yes a generous amount of fish and risotto rice. Every mouthful of food was like a party in our mouths.

 

 

Last but by no means least was dessert.  We asked the waitress what she recommended and she just smiled, raised an eyebrow and brought us the menu..

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So much choice! Marrocco’s fame is also down to their gelato, so we chose a “chocolate nut sundae”. Chocolate chip and vanilla ice cream served with roasted nuts, chocolate stracciatella (a variety of gelato consisting of milk based ice cream, filled with fine shavings of chocolate), sauces and finally topped with cream and flake dips. Heaven!

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This was simple Italian food cooked to perfection.

Thank you Marrocco’s. Cheers 🍷

If you don’t want to take our word for it, please do go and try it out for yourself.

http://www.marroccos.co.uk

Happt eating x

 

 

 

 

 

Pimp your jacket (potato)

Just a quick one..

Fancy a jacket potato?

How about one that’s a little pimped up?

We like to bake our potatoes in the oven, but if you have a microwave and time is limited that would be the best option.

Ok. First of all take your baked potato out of the oven. (Usually baked for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs, depending on the size of the potato).

Turn on your grill.

Cut it open and scrape the potato into a bowl.

Next add butter, grated cheese and a little salt and pepper.

Mix together then put the potato back into its case.

We like to add tuna to our jackets, but you can just leave it as it is if you don’t fancy that.

Add some more grated cheese on top and place under the grill for a few minutes (keep an eye on it).

Your jacket will be ready once the cheese on top has melted and turned a little brown.

All done!

Place your potato on a plate. You can add a side salad or just eat it as is!

Quick, simple and tasty.

A little potato fact..

‘A baked potato is sometimes called a jacket potato in the United Kingdom. The baked potato has been popular in the UK for many years. In the mid-19th century, jacket potatoes were sold on the streets by hawkers during the autumn and winter months. In London, it was estimated that some 10 tons of baked potatoes were sold each day by this method.’ (Taken from Wikipedia)

 

How do you like your jacket potatoes?

Happy eating! 

 

 

 

 

A little taste of the Caribbean

Spring has sprung (kind of). Well the sun has been shining a bit more which always feels good. So to end a lovely day out at the seaside we decided to go for a meal out. We  went back to our roots and decided to eat at a fairly new Caribbean restaurant near where we live. The restaurants description of what they offer is ‘Caribbean and American soul food’.

What are the foods of the Caribbean?

Well, there is *rice and peas, ackee, salt fish, yam, green banana, plantain, the list goes on. (Mouth watering yet?)

Back to Caribsoul…

We were greeted with a delicious smells of spices and and friends smile when we entered the restaurant. We were told we order our food at the counter and then could take a seat where we wanted. We decided on macaroni cheese, rice and peas, coleslaw so escovitch fish. As pescatarians the only downside was we were a little limited on food choices. Alternatively we could have had ackee and salt fish.

Once the food was ordered and we were seated we didn’t have to wait long. Just after a bottle labelled ‘very hot sauce’ was placed on the table, our food arrived.

It was a good amount for two and tasted delicious. It wasn’t too spicy hot and the fish was cooked perfectly. Could have done with a fish gravy as the only one on offer was chicken gravy, which we of course couldn’t have. Other than that, a great meal.

The food was met with a great Caribbean atmosphere leaving us laughing and reminiscing at hearing the ‘old school’ reggae and soca tunes playing in the background.

We will definitely pay them a visit again.  Think we’ll give the ackee and salt fish a go next time.

*

  • rice and peas–  one of the unspoken rules of eating rice and peas in Jamaica (usually kidney beans it gungo peas) is that it is eaten on Sunday’s, but of course you can eat it whenever you like. It is one of the staple foods all over he Caribbean. We have used easy cook rice when making it, but basmati is good too.
  • ackee– it’s a fruit that when cooked looks a little like scrambled eggs. Usually accompanied by salt fish. It’s the national fruit of Jamaica.
  • salt fish– it’s fish cured with dried salt and then preserved to eat at a later date.
  • plantain– it’s a member of the banana family. It is not suitable for eating raw, so needs to be cooked (fried is delicious and boils is great in soup)
  • green banana– the flesh is from and starchy rather than soft and sweet. One of the best ways to cook them is boiling.
  • yam– there are over 600 varieties. They are another great vegetable to have in soup as well as boiled and part of a dish such as fried fish and rice and peas. Yams along with plantain, and green bananas can usually be found at your local food market.

 

If you fancy checking them out for yourself, you can find them at:

46 George street, Croydon, CR0 1PB

http://www.caribsoul.com

Happy eating!

 

Miso tastic!

We’ve been loving homemade soups lately. Fresh, warming and delicious. One of our favourites is miso. We’re lucky enough to be a 10 minute walk from a fabulous Asian supermarket ‘Wing Yip’ ( http://www.wingyip.com) where we buy some great fresh produce. You can also eat there. Definitely check it out if you can.

Here’s a little fact about miso..

miso
ˈmiːsəʊ/
noun
paste made from fermented soya beans and barley or rice malt, used in Japanese cookery.
a soup thickened with miso paste, often with added tofu or vegetables.
“a bowl of piping hot miso”

(Taken from Google)

So here we go..

(feeds a family of 3)

ingredients

miso paste 1tsp

pak choi 1 florette

tofu 1 pack

Rice noodles 100g

salmon 3 fillets

teryaki marinade

water 1,000ml

spring onions 2 or 3 (for garnish and part of the soup)

chillie 1 (depends how hot you want it)

Instant dashi 10g

mirin 2tbsp

light soy 3tbsp

lime 1

broccolli or sugar snap beans, shiitake mushrooms, spinach (whichever you prefer, or a mix)

Fresh mint (for garnish)

corriander (for garnish)

method 

Marinate the salmon in teriyaki marinade (you can buy a ready made one or make your own with mirin or rice wine vinegar, sugar,soy, crushed garlic and ginger)

Set the water to boil then add the mirin, soy and dashi

Take some of the broth out and mix with the miso paste until it dissolves into the paste

Add to the broth

Put a bit of the teriyaki marinade in a pan on a medium heat

Mix in brown sugar until it forms a glaze

Add the salmon top side down so you get a nice glaze on the top

Depending on the size of the fillet, cook until you see the fish loses its translucency

Turn the fillets over

If the glaze is beginning to thicken, add a drop of waters and cover the pans so the fish steams

Bring the broth back to boil and add chillies and spring onions

Get your bowls ready and lay some pak choi and rice noodles (un cooked- these will cook by the time you have finished putting the soup together and served at the table) on the bottom

Add your tofu and sugar snaps. Let them cook for 2-3 minutes

Now your ready to serve!..

Pour the hot soup into the bowls, making sure the noodles are submerged

Share the tofu and sugar snap beans between the bowls

Lay the salmon fillets on top

Lastly, garnish with spring onions, chilli, fresh mint, fresh coriander and a slice of lime

Now you can eat!

This is quick, easy and delicious. Go for it!

 

Happy eating!

 

On a heavenly bed of veg

What do you do with that last sea bass in the freezer?

how about trying out succulent sea bass fillets on a bed of delectable roasted veg. Sound good?

There are so many amazing ways you can cook veg, helping to bring out their natural flavours and enhancing them with a little extra spice or seasoning.

This is one of our favourite recipes. Perfect for a quick and nutritional meal. Great for adults and kids love it too!

 

Ingredients:

New potatoes (as many as you need. For 3 people we used approx 8 cut in half)

carrots

red and green peppers

fennel

red onion

1 sea bass filleted

X3 or 4 anchovies

olive oil

X2 cloves of garlic

dill

Time to cook:

Fillet the fish if not already done

Score the fillets and ensure there are no bones

season the fish (sea salt and black pepper) and add a little olive oil

preheat the oven to approx 200 degrees

clean and boil the potatoes

chop the peppers and carrots into chunks (carrots not too thick, so they don’t take too long to cook)

slice the fennel

cut the onion into chunks

place the potatoes and carrots on a baking tray with a drizzle of oil, garlic cloves and anchovies. Season with salt

place in the oven

when the potatoes and carrots are nearly done, add the peppers, fennel, dill and red onion

place the fillets in a heated pan skin side down and hold the down so the skin doesn’t curl up

cook for a few mins until the skin is crisp and then turn over and cook for a couple more (flesh will look a little translucent. This means it’s ready

take the tray of veg out of the oven and place the fillets on top

We have a French stick too, which is great for dipping in the oil of the veg pan

all done!

 

Happy eating!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time for a light lunch..

Had an appetite for healthy food this morning so decided to go for a homemade Caesar salad for lunch (ate too much cake yesterday).

Did you know, the Caesar salad originated in Mexico! And it isn’t named after the Roman emperor Julius Caesar.

(Extract from the huffington post):

“Legend has it that Italian-American restaurateur Caesar Cardini invented the salad in 1924 in Tijuana, Mexico. According to The Telegraph, Cardini owned a restaurant in the tourist destination to “attract Americans frustrated by Prohibition.” The exact story is disputed, but the general consensus is that over Fourth of July weekend, Cardini threw together a bunch of ingredients he had on hand and served his concoction to his friends. Needless to say, the improvised dish caught on.”

For our Caesar salad (chicken excluded of course) we used:

baby leaf lettuce

Anchovies

olive oil

parmesan cheese (shavings)

Salad dressing

foccacia bread broken into chunks, tossed in olive oil and crisped into croutons in the oven (about 10 mins on a high heat)- any bread can be used (French stick is good)

Not much else to it really. Lettuce on the plate first then layer the rest however you like, and top with a salad dressing of your choice.

quick, easy and tasty.

 

Happy eating!