It’s time to set the theme for the third Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream challenge, and once again I’ve gone for a wide one, giving us lots and lots of scope for creative ideas.

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The theme for April is Sorbets, Granitas, Shaved Ice Desserts, Slushies and Spoom!

 

Sorbet is a frozen dessert made with a water or fruit juice base flavoured with fruit, wine, or alcohol. Unlike ice cream, sorbet does not contain any dairy products. Read more about the origins of sorbet at Wiki.

(Incidentally, in North America, the term sherbet is often used to refer to a frozen dessert that is much like sorbet, but does contains a small amount of dairy. Italian ice, best as I can tell, is an alternative North American name for sorbet – do let me know if that’s incorrect.)

Granita is an Italian frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavourings. It is similar to sorbet, but commonly has a coarser, more crystalline texture, though this does vary regionally. You may also find granita served as a thick, semi-frozen drink rather than a dessert, with a straw provided.

Snow cones and snowballs are well known throughout North America, and consist of ice shavings topped with a flavoured sugar syrup. The names are often interchangeable, but where there’s a distinction, the snowball features more finely shaved ice, akin to fresh snow, and the snow cone contains larger ice shavings.

The Japanese kakigōri is much like a North American snowball. Finely shaved ice is topped with one or more flavoured syrups. Condensed milk is also sometimes added. Somewhat similar desserts such as Taiwanese baobing, Malaysian ais kacang, Korean patbingsu and Filipino halo-halo can be found across South East Asia.

A slushy is a semi-frozen drink. It can be made by partially freezing a sweet fruit juice or other sweet liquid, or by partially freezing sweetened water for a slurry base, into which flavoured syrups are mixed at the time of serving. Supercooling is sometimes applied to regular soft drinks such that they have a slushy texture when opened.

And finally, a new one on me, spoom! Spoom is a frothy sorbet, once very popular in England. Like sorbet, it is made from fruit juice, wine, sherry or port. As it begins to set, it is mixed with half its volume of Italian meringue. It is served in a tall glass, often with a little champagne spooned over the top. The name comes from the Italian spuma (foam).

 

This challenge is particularly well-suited to those without ice cream machines, so I hope you can all get involved!

 

How To Take Part

  • Create and blog a recipe that fits the challenge by the 28th of the month.
  • In your post, mention and link to this Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream post.
  • In your post, include the Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream badge.
  • Email me with your first name or nickname (as you prefer), the name of your blog, the link to your post, the title of your post and an image for my roundup, sized to no larger than 500 pixels on the longest side.

You are welcome to submit your post to as many blogger challenge events as you like. You can even enter this challenge more than once, if you write two separate blog posts that fit the theme!

If the recipe is not your own, please be aware of copyright issues. Please email me if you would like to discuss this.

If you tweet about your post using #bloggersscreamforicecream, I’ll retweet any I see.

 

For the second bloggers scream for ice cream challenge, I challenged you to recreate a favourite childhood ice cream experience or flavour.

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I hope you enjoy the wonderfully wide range of memories and recipes as much as I have.

Here are all the entries, in date order of posting!

LoveLeluu

Well known supper club host and blogger, Uyen, was the first to post a recipe to her Leluu blog, Having left Vietnam as a child, Uyen’s posts about her return trips to the country of her birth are a joy to read, and a fascinating insight into both culture, cuisine and family. In this post she tells how, on her first visit back since the family’s exile, just one taste of a fridge-cold jar of Vietnamese yoghurt transported her a couple of decades back to her childhood. On her most recent trip to Vietnam, her cousin shared a recipe for Vietnamese frozen yoghurt, which combines condensed milk and long life milk with yoghurt.

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Ren of Fabulicious Food asks all of you, when did you last have a banana split? She paints a picture of a long gone café at Warren Beach in North Wales; she can still remember the white painted walls and sandy floors and the fact that the order was always the same – a banana split. Her recipe calls for bananas, soft ice cream, whipped cream, cherries and chocolate sauce. A great reminder that simple classics should not be forgotten.

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When I read Jo’s entry for the challenge, on Comfort Bites, I was reminded of one of my own personal favourites, the wonderfully simple coke float. In her post, Jo calls on handy science-bod Alex to explain the magical alchemy that occurs when combining just two ingredients, coke and vanilla ice cream. The thick, creamy, bubbly foam has a taste that is altogether different from either coke or vanilla ice cream! I’d have said magic, but read Jo’s post to understand what really happens!

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Jason of Feast To The World grew up in Singapore and Malaysia. When the familiar ice cream bell sounded, it wasn’t a van that appeared, but a man on a scooter, with a large freezer compartment on the back of the bike. Jason loved the ice cream wafer, a rectangular block of ice cream sandwiched between wafer biscuits. For this month’s challenge, he created this pretty pandan ice cream wafer, using pandan leaves to flavour the ice cream and filo pastry for the wafers.

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Have you ever come across the combination of honey and Marmite? No? Me neither, but as soon as I read Ed’s post on Rocket & Squash, I couldn’t understand why I’d never thought to combine them myself. This strange mix, which Ed calls Homite, has been a family favourite for years but it’s only recently that Ed thought to make it into an ice cream flavour. He tried three custard-based variations of Homite ice cream, so pick your favourite and give it a go!

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I was hoping someone might tackle the infamous arctic roll. And Jennie from Things I Eat did just that! She made a rich, cream custard which she churned and then formed into a sausage shape. Next came the Swiss roll sponge, with care to keep it moist and pliable. Jennie spread it with a layer of strawberry jam and rolled it around the ice cream sausage, eh voila! I’m very tempted by this one, though may call on Pete to help me make the cake and do the rolling!

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Until I read Laura from How to cook good food‘s post I had completely forgotten about choc ices and yet we must have eaten hundreds during our childhood! Laura used shop-bought Ambrosia for a retro-tasting yellow vanilla ice cream which she cut into blocks and thickly coated with melted chocolate. I particularly like the thickness of the chocolate – the shop bought choc ices were always a bit mean on that front!

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With a shared birthday, my sister and I had many shared birthday parties when we were kids. Mum would make us fabulous themed cakes, we’d dress up in our favourite party clothes and friends would come round and play musical statues, pass the parcel and pin the tail on the donkey. One of our favourite party foods was the home made knickerbocker glories we’d help mum to assemble, featuring layers of fruit and jelly, ice cream, whipped cream, cherries and chocolate or fruit sauce. My sister gave me these lovely sundae glasses a couple of years back and finally, I found the perfect recipe for them.

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Much as Miss South of North South Food might remember the delights of a bag of Haribo, her grown up tastebuds just aren’t as keen on super sweet as they might once have been. But the sweet and sharp tang of fizzy cola bottles, the kind that make your mouth contort in delight, are another thing entirely. And that’s where she took inspiration for her very clever fizzy cola bottle sorbet. When she mentioned that her ice cream machine reminded her of a Mr Frosty machine, I was instantly transported back to my own memories of laboriously shaving ice in a snowman’s belly!

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I said last week that Kate aka The Little Loaf is the ice cream queen! Having seen the frankly fabulous entries that had preceded her, I was starting to doubt she could hold onto that crown. But once again I was blown away by her creativity when I read about her creme egg ice cream. Like Miss South, Kate’s tastes have moved on from the ‘sickly fondant slop’ that fills the well known confectionary creme eggs, so she made a subtle fior di latte (flower of milk) ice cream that reminded her of Mr Whippy, another childhood memory, poured it into a milk chocolate shell and used passion fruit for the yolk.

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When I saw Karen from Lavender & Lovage‘s entry for this month’s challenge, I figured that great minds think alike! Karen too opted to make knickerbocker glories! Like mine, her suggested ingredients include tinned and fresh fruit, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and syrup. Unlike mine, her list doesn’t have jelly but does have hundreds and thousands and wafers! What we both agree on is that there’s no exact recipe, and that you should layer up your own choice of deliciousness. What I most love about Karen’s post is the nostalgic passages about what she finds when she meanders down her own memory lane.

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Corina, who writes Searching for spice, relates the story of a childhood holiday to Spain where she discovered the delights of many flavours of ice cream, her favourite being kiwi fruit ice cream, which she ate every single day. I can almost feel the anticipation she experienced in the run up to the second trip, only to be crushingly disappointed when the flavour was no longer available! All these years later, she has recreated her beloved kiwi fruit ice cream at home!

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When she was little, Sharon from Smithycraft would only eat white ice cream. Not even yellow vanilla would do; it had to be brilliant white. So, when she saw the theme of the challenge, she determined to create her own very white ice. Having determined that egg yolks would give it a yellow colour, Sharon created a recipe for a gelato-style ice cream, using raw goat’s milk, dried milk powder, caster sugar and vanilla extract. Not even the flecks of vanilla beans could be allowed to sully the pristine white!

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The ice cream that Jacqui, from There’s Proper Food In There Somewhere, ate most as a child was also vanilla. Only on trips to her nan’s, holidays abroad or the obligatory trip to National Trust properties did she encounter a wider range. Whilst her dad would always choose pistachio, and her mum loved strawberry, Jacqui was irresistably drawn to exotic rum and raisin ice cream. Unlike those childhood versions, her recipe uses real rum instead of flavouring. The real deal!

bigspud

Gary from Big Spud grew up in South Essex. In his area, the ice cream brand that comes to mind first isn’t Wall’s, Lyons Maid, or Haagen-Dazs but Rossi’s. Gary has strong memories of the Rossi’s van visiting his street after school, and of popping to their shop on the Marine Parade and the kiosk on Southend High Street. For him, the best flavour was the lemon sorbet, known as lemon ice. Smooth, with a vivid yellow colour, Gary used a really strong syrup combined with gelatine to recreate Rossi’s lemon ice.

And there you have it – all fifteen BSFIC entries and a lovely stroll down memory lane, not to mention some delicious ice cream ideas to try at home.

The April challenge will be announced shortly, do join in if you can!

 

A few weeks ago we were invited to a special cheese and beer matching evening at Meantime’s Brewery’s The Old Brewery bar and restaurant.

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Located in the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich (just a minute’s walk from the Cutty Sark), the setting is really beautiful. In the bar, exposed brick walls and vaulted brick ceilings create a cosy but modern space. In the enormously high-ceilinged restaurant, walls are decorated with informative flow charts on the beer making process, a modern work of art created from thousands of empty beer bottles hangs above diners’ heads and eyes are drawn to the eight scrupulously polished copper clad brewing tuns ranged in three rows along one of the end walls.

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There’s a long history of brewing on the site, so it’s good to know that these are not just for display. This is a working micro-brewery – Meantime’s founder and brew master, Alastair Hook, along with Rod Jones, head brewer at The Old Brewery, experiment with a wide range of beers from trialling potential new lines to creating limited editions and having fun with some unusual styles, including wild beer, brewed using non-conventional yeasts.

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For this event, Rod Jones was joined by Jayne Peyton from the School of Booze and Patricia Michaelson from La Fromagerie. Between them they gave us an introduction to beer and cheese matching, presented a cheese and beer menu for the evening meal, and did a more focused beer and cheese tasting after the meal.

The canapés (gougeres, cheese sables and parmesan crisps) were served during the introductory talk before the meal.

Rod’s first point was that, whilst people seem to think beer and food matching is a new and trendy thing, pretentious even, and that wine is the traditional match for cheese and food in general, this is a very recent phenomenon. He said that only a couple of generations ago, it was far more normal to have a beer with the Sunday roast, as his grandfather did, than a bottle of wine. Rod lead us down memory lane, reminding us that this was reflected on telly too – in the 1960s sitcom On The Buses, when bus driver Reg’s mum offered him a cup of tea with his steak and kidney pie, he quickly told her that it was a pint of stout that went best with steak and kidney! In ‘Til Death Do Us Part, it was pale ale that Alf Garnett had with his Christmas dinner.

We also learned that there’s a good reason beer works well with food – the effect of carbonation in our mouth is a mechanical scrubbing or cleansing of the palate. Dry hops do something similar. So beer helps bring out the flavours of the food, rather than disguise them, as wine can sometimes do.

Jayne gave us some advice for matching beer to food and suggested there were three possible ways to go.
1) Choose a beer that cuts through the food – for example a crisp pilsner and fish and chips.
2) Choose a beer that compliments the food – for example cheddar and barley wine, both rich, nutty, grainy flavours.
3) Choose a beer that contrasts with the food – for example creamy, chocolaty stout and salty, slippery oysters.

I also liked Jayne’s aside that the term ‘beer belly’ to describe the peculiarly rounded belly that’s afflicts more men than women is almost universal, in so many languages, the word ‘beer ‘ is involved.

Pete and I didn’t agree with all the matches, but the point of the exercise was to encourage the audience to give beer more of a chance when it comes to food and drinks matching, and to find their own preferred matches.

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The first course once we’d transferred to our tables, was grilled Crottin de Chavignol goat’s cheese, orange and thyme honey, hazelnut and oat crunch, dressed baby herbs paired with Saison 1900.

The dish itself was delicious. Creamy, soft and salty goat’s cheese against sweet, crunchy hazelnuts. Gentle but appealing flavours.

Pete’s verdict was that whilst he could see that they’d chosen the Saison 1900 to cut through the distinctive sticky goatiness, he felt a much bigger beer such as a tripel or barley wine would have worked better, or possibly a sweeter, floral beer.

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Next came roast Welsh lamb saddle stuffed with ricotta, dried apricots and pine nuts, creamed mash potato, sauteed cepes, buttered spinach and roasting juices which was matched to Meantime IPA.

The flavour of the lamb was absolutely fantastic, rich, sweet and meaty. Unfortunately, the cooking resulted in a thick layer of unpleasant, flabby fat and lots of stringy bits. The cheese aspect of the stuffing didn’t really come through at all in terms of flavour; the ricotta was little more than a binder for the apricot, in my opinion. The mash was oddly grainy, the texture of Smash, but the taste of real potato. The mushrooms were the best thing on the plate.

Pete felt that the IPA was too big a beer for the dish, certainly it didn’t bring out the reticent ricotta cheese, nor did it really enhance the lamb or mushrooms. He posited that it would work better with a more robust and rich dish, such as venison with a dark, fruit sauce.

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For dessert, we were served raspberry cheesecake, frozen berries, hot white chocolate sauce. The beer match was Rodenbach Grand Cru.

For me, this felt like two separate desserts, the crunchy frozen berries with hot but quickly setting white chocolate and basil leaves worked on its own, and was the best element on the plate. The cheesecake was OK.

The beer was unusual. For me, it smelled like tomato ketchup. Pete was strongly reminded of cough medicine. How did it go with the pudding? Pete found that it cut through the sweet, rich white chocolate extremely well but that it didn’t really work with the sharper berries or the tanginess of the cheesecake. With a full-on sweet pudding, it would have been a winner, but he wasn’t convinced that it went with this plate.

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After the main meal, we had a bit of a wait before the cheese plates and associated beers arrived.

Although I’m not a beer drinker, I thought some of these matches worked very well, in terms of the way the beer modified the taste of the cheese and vice versa. Pete liked the matches less, though again, it got him thinking on which beers he might choose to match with the same cheeses.

Chabichou is a soft but firm goat’s milk cheese with a slightly crumbly rind and had lovely nutty fresh citrus flavours. I liked the Blonde de Bruxelles match; its light, tangy, milk taste complimented the cheese well.

Soumaintrain is a proper smelly feet cheese, with an orange Annatto-washed rind. It’s very rich, creamy, intensely flavoured, very meaty savoury umami. The Williams Brothers Alba was, for me, an excellent match. The cheese brought out a real sweetness in the beer, like toffee apples and treacle.

Fribourg d’Estive Grand Reserve is a classic Gruyere with the familiar salty and sweet nuts and caramel flavour and grainy texture. I absolutely hated the Stone Brewing Old Guardian Barley Wine with it, as I felt it completely overwhelmed the cheese and make everything taste unpleasantly sour and off.

Abbaye de Trois Vaux is one of few cheeses I couldn’t warm to, probably because it has a distinctly bitter taste. Made by nuns at the abbey, the cheese has a dark red-brown rind from washing in local beer. The beer match was Chimay Red, which is hoppy, yeasty and fruity, also with bitter tones. Pete liked how the two bitter flavours complemented each other. For me, I liked neither.

Blue de Causses is what Patricia described as a ‘gutsy’ blue, very salty, very strong, slightly grainy in texture. The 10% ABV Durham Brewery Temptation was way too strong for me, on it’s own, but the blue cheese drew out sweetness and coffee flavours in the beer. I thought this match very interesting, as both the beer and the cheese really changed the flavour of the other.

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The Old Brewery runs regular beer and food nights, so check their calendar for upcoming dates.

Kavey Eats dined as guests of Meantime London.

 

Sedap is a small neighbourhood restaurant along London’s Old Street, offering Chinese-Malaysian cuisine. With a well-priced weekday lunch menu, it was a good budget choice for meeting up with a friend who works nearby.

The space is small and has an informal cafe vibe. Service is efficient and helpful.

Priced at £7.80, the lunch menu gives a choice of four starters, vegetarian spring roll, sweetcorn soup, kerabu vegetable salad or crispy chicken skin and then your choice of beef, chicken of vegetable dish from the regular menu, served with steamed or egg fried rice. You can choose prawn, duck or fish main dishes for £1 more.

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I loved my choice of crispy chicken skin, a chicken version of pork scratchings, served with a sweet chilli dipping sauce.

But I was surprised at at the very tiny size of the spring roll served to my friend. Two bites, and that’s if you’re being dainty!

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My lemak prawn curry was decent, but packed too much chilli heat for me. Nice flavours though, reminding me of Thai coconut curries. My friend enjoyed her beef rendang. Again, portions were on the small side, though reasonable for a weekday lunch.

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Afterwards, my friend and I shared a portion of Nyonya Kui (£2) (traditional Malaysian desserts) and I absolutely loved both the gelatinous, chewy offerings.

Were I looking for food in the area, I might visit again, but this isn’t a place I’d make a special trip for, even though the food was (so I’ve been told) a decent representation of the cuisine.

Sedap on Urbanspoon

Mar 272012
 

Friends and readers know I love good chocolate. Whether it’s Demarquette’s English Garden caramels, Paul A Young’s stout and muscovado chocolates, Katie from Matcha’s Earl Grey chocolates, Amano’s Dos Rios bar or Artisan du Chocolat’s crème eggs, I’m happy.

There is also plenty of what I call middle ground chocolate that I regularly enjoy – much of Hotel Chocolat’s range fits in there – superbly sourced cocoa, well thought out products, a high quality production process and easy to find on the high street. For me, so do bars from brands like Divine and Green & Blacks.

But occasionally, I’ll have a hankering for the cheap stuff. I know the “chocolate” is full of vegetable oil and sugar. Often it’s about ridding myself of a rumble in the belly and feeling the urge for something sweet. Nostalgia probably plays a huge part; most of us are drawn back to childhood favourites now and then, aren’t we?

Kit Kats fit into that last category for me, though I still miss the old wrapping, miss scoring through the foil before snapping apart the four fingers…

Chunky kit kats have existed for quite a while. These larger, single-finger kit kats aren’t quite as satisfying, mostly because the ratio and thickness of chocolate, wafer and filling aren’t the same as the original sized ones.

But the new(ish) limited edition flavours are still worth a try – and at least one of them will likely make it into Kit Kat’s permanent range.

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Chunky White Choc, Chunky Orange, Chunky Peanut Butter and Chunky Double Choc

How do they taste? Just as you’d expect – creamy milk chocolate and simple punchy flavours, all very very sweet. My favourite is probably the peanut butter, reminding me of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, but a little less sickly. All four are decent enough that I’ll probably buy one now and again, maybe in a petrol station shop, where I often give in to the simple marketing tactics of lining the approach to the till with chocolate and sweets.

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Have you tried any of the new flavours? What do you think? And how do you rate the Chunky versions against the original slims?

Kavey Eats received complimentary samples from Kit Kat.

 

It’s that time of the year when we are rushing to catch up with work we really ought to have done over the autumn or winter. That means some quick heavier digging and turning over, letting the weather break down the clods a bit and then working it over more finely in preparation for sowing seeds and planting seedlings.

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This weekend, a friend came to help on Sunday afternoon. The sun was shining; it really was a beautiful day.

Last year was a poor year for us, harvest wise and the combined yield from both garden and allotment was less than we’d enjoyed from the garden alone for the several years previous. There were a number of factors including weather, the added workload of having a new allotment on top of the garden and a poorly timed spring holiday which impacted seed propagating for many more weeks than it lasted.

The purple sprouting broccoli we planted in 2010 was ready for harvesting from mid-January 2011, very early indeed. So when we saw nothing much at all by the same time this year, I assumed it had failed. Very happy then, to see it starting to show growth late February and early March.

On Sunday we harvested the first florets, sharing them half half with our kind helper.

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photo by Gina Navato

Gina cooked the PSB and some cauliflower florets with anchovies, pine nuts and capers, for a very simple evening meal.

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We did ours as a snack. It was nuked, only briefly, in the microwave (with a knob of butter and a little salt sprinkled over first). Crunchy, tasty, fresh, delicious!

If any other friends want to get some exercise of a weekend, and fancy helping, give us a shout.

 

Having only recently tried dolsot bibimbap for the first time (and loved it) I was happy to accept an invitation from Kimchee restaurant to a blogger event introducing their Korean menu to a group of food bloggers.

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images from Kimchee website

The restaurant is very large, with an additional dining room downstairs, but the wooden panels break up the space pretty well. The design is meant to reflect a traditional Korean home, hence the prevalence of wood and simple lines. To me, it seems a little too much of a copy of the Hakkasan look (not a restaurant I liked) but that was probably based on traditional oriental design with a modern twist too.

Diners seated upstairs can watch the chefs at work, through huge glass panels into the kitchen. There is also a small water garden at the entrance, which is a pretty place to wait for friends.

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Kimchee arranged for us to share a feast of different dishes, as well as some traditional Korean drinks. During the meal, we also learned a little about about Korean traditions, including how to address elders, how to pour drinks for each other and the way that food is usually served as a feast of many dishes on the table at once.

The alcoholic options weren’t to my taste, but I loved both the (cold) sweet plum tea and the aloe vera drink (which I’ve been buying from Wing Yip for a while – can’t get enough of it’s refreshing flavour and the strangely appealing texture of the bits of aloe vera suspended within the liquid).

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To my surprise, the dolsot bibimbap dishes, served in huge stone pots, weren’t as full of flavour as the one I had at Bibimbap a few weeks ago. The seafood one in particular, I found quite bland. However, for me, they were the two weakest dishes of our feast, and I enjoyed the rest of the menu much more.

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The lemon sole gui was delicious, with a crispy fried noodle garnish and fresh, green vegetables, this dish was reminiscent of Chinese dishes I’m more familiar with. The fish was tender and the flavours in the sweet miso and soy dressing were delicious.

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As well as trying the main and side dishes, we also sampled the traditional accompaniments. Probably one of the most famous elements of Korean cuisine is kimchee, pickled cabbage. The version here was refreshing, crunchy and full of flavour. A small dish of kkakdugi (pickled radish) was crunchy and fiery hot. My favourite of these little plates was the modum namul – little mounds of beansprouts, spinach, radish, cucumber in a fantastic sesame oil and garlic dressing

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A jeon is a Korean pancake made from a flour and egg batter. The pajeon, with spring onions, was simple and particularly tasty when dipped into the accompanying soy and chive sauce. The mung bean version (bean dae duk) was OK, but not as much to my taste. Lastly, the kimchee jeon, which I thought I’d like more, but didn’t really have enough of the distinctive kimchee flavour.

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I loved the roseu puen che – thin slices of very lightly seared beef wrapped around crunchy vegetables and herbs. What made this was the mustardy-flavour of the wasabi and soy dipping sauce that came with it.

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Pork belly is listed in the BBQ section and is a simple dish of marinated and grilled pork belly slices stir fried with green beans. These are eaten wrapped in crispy lettuce leaves. A little greasy but very good.

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Probably one of my favourite dishes of the evening was the deceptively simple tofu kimchee. Fat, wobbly slices of silky tofu, steamed or boiled and served with minced pork and kimchee on top. A fantastic blend of textures and flavours, I couldn’t get enough of this one.

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Jjigae probably best translates as a stew, though you could equally think of it as a flavoursome soup with lots of goodies added. We tried two versions, the kimchee jjigae and the seafood soft tofu jjigae. The latter was my favourite, but both were punchy, warming and with a lovely mix of textures.

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Yuk hwae was another dish I loved. Raw minced beef served with thin slices of pear and cucumber, and a raw egg yolk mixed into the beef at the table. Essentially a simple beef tartare, the sweetness of the pear and the crunchy texture of both pear and cucumber, were unexpectedly delicious contrasts to the yolky beef.

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The beef mari didn’t do it for me. A little like the wonderfully fresh and vibrant Vietnamese summer rolls but altogether lacking in flavour, these rolls of beef and vegetables wrapped in rice paper were bland, even with the accompanying sauce.

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Soft shelled crab, breadcrumbed and deep fried… what’s not to like about that? Yes, I definitely enjoyed the crab tuigim with its simple plum sauce.

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Despite the fried lotus root garnish, I didn’t find the beef bulgogi very exciting, though it was decent enough. The flavours were more pedestrian, less unfamiliar and exciting, than much of what we ate during the evening. The same applied to the chicken bulgogi we also tasted.

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I think glass noodles are beautiful, and they glistened attractively in the jap chae dish, where they’d been cooked with beef and vegetables. The taste was richly savoury too.

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After eating my way through all the dishes above, I didn’t think I had any space left for dessert, but the ice creams and chap ssal ddeok were so delicious, I managed to put away more than my fair share. Chap ssal ddeok are a Korean version of what I know as Japanese mochi, and had that same wonderfully gluey texture to the rice flour wrapper and the same sweet hit from the soft chocolate mousse inside.

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The ice creams were very good indeed. We tried almond, black sesame, roasted green tea, red bean and sweet chestnut flavours and all were excellent.

The roasted green tea ice cream was the best green tea ice cream I’ve ever tasted, and was an absolute revelation. Even after the many delicious dishes we tasted through the meal, it’s been this ice cream that’s remained in my thoughts since the meal, and which I’ll be going back for as soon as I can!

 

Kavey Eats dined as a guest of Kimchee restaurant.

Kimchee  on Urbanspoon

 

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When we were sent a Waring Deep Fill Sandwich Maker to review, I was quite surprised to see a note in the accompanying PR bumf that it could be used to make omelettes. I’d never come across such an idea and was intrigued, but disappointed that the instruction pamphlet made no mention of this.

Google came to the rescue, with this odd but charming home-video of a gentleman using his sandwich toaster to make omelettes, wandering off to answer the phone in the middle, leaving his cameraman wife to pan around the room until he came back to reveal the finished omelettes!

Of course, we had to try it!

 

The sandwich maker itself is a simple stainless steel design, quite heavy and seems robust.

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It’s not hugely deeper than your ordinary sandwich toaster, though that little extra depth does seem to result in less leakage of toastie fillings, so it’s enough to make a difference. But the biggest innovation, in my mind, is the introduction of the removable plates, which are also dishwasher safe. I think these are cunning and rather fabulous.

There are three heat settings, low, medium and core-of-the-sun hot. Thus far, we’ve found that low and medium are our friends and hot is rather too hot, as you can see from the slightly browned butter in the images below!

 

Omelettes In A Sandwich Toaster

Ingredients
Butter or vegetable oil
A couple of eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional: a handful finely diced or grated cheese

  • Switch on your sandwich toaster and give it a little time to heat up.
  • Add butter or vegetable oil to each of the sections, and allow to heat.
  • Pour the beaten egg into the sections. If adding cheese, sprinkle over the egg.
  • Close the lid and allow to cook for a minute or two, until the surface shows some browning.

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So how were our little triangle omelettes? Surprisingly good, actually, with a light and fluffy interior and decent texture on the surfaces. Let me know what you think if you have a go.

Coming soon, a post on our favourite toasties!

Kavey Eats received a complimentary sandwich toaster from Waring.

 

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My sister and I share the same birthday, three years apart. And five minutes, if you want to be precise.

When we were young, we’d have joint birthday parties at which we played all the usual games – musical statues, pin the tail on the donkey, pass the parcel…

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Check out the train cake! And the party hats! And mum’s hair!

We’d wear our favourite party clothes… I still remember the pale yellow lace dress with a wide ribbon tied at the back, which was handed down to my sister after I tearfully outgrew it. One year mum made us satin jumpsuits, mine was baby blue and my sister’s was pale pink.

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Red pop! My younger sister wearing the yellow lace dress! Mum watching me blow out the candles!

Mum would make us fantastic themed birthday cakes such as fairy castles, ladybirds and trains.

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Me in the baby blue satin jumpsuit! Sister in the pink one!

 And we would help mum make knickerbocker glories, to serve at the party.

A knickerbocker glory is essentially an ice cream sundae, served in a tall glass that is narrow at the bottom and flared at the top. There isn’t an exact recipe, but as far as I’m concerned, ice cream, jelly, tinned fruit and a syrupy sauce are essential. A cherry on the top is a classic decorative touch, and a little whipped cream doesn’t go amiss either!

One theory is that the name derives from knickerbockers – baggy, knee-length trousers worn by children, particularly boys. In the first half of the 20th Century, young boys traditionally wore shorts in summer and knickerbockers in winter, graduating to long trousers only once they older.

In my childhood, during the ’70s, we called those peddle pushers and I was particularly fond of my maroon velvet pair, which I thought very fetching indeed.

An alternative suggestion for the derivation of the name comes from America, where early settlers from Holland to New York, then known as Nieuw Amsterdam, were called knickerbockers.

In either case, there’s no obvious link between either the shorts or the Dutch immigrants and this ice cream sundae.

As kids, we’d build up the knickerbocker glories layer by layer, perhaps a layer of strawberry jelly with tinned mandarin segments, then a layer of vanilla ice cream, followed by a different coloured jelly…

 

The Gupta Family Knickerbocker Glory

Ingredients – your choice of:
Tinned fruits
Fresh fruits
Jelly
Broken meringue
Ice cream
Whipped Cream
Chocolate or fruit sauce
Cherries

Method

  • Start with fruit and one of the jellies, and leave to set in the fridge.
  • Add additional meringue, fruit and jelly layers as you like.
  • Add ice cream, whipped cream, sauce and cherries just before serving.

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This is my own entry for the March Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream event.

Mar 212012
 

Though I have been back to Delhi Grill a number of times since my first visit, I’d not had a chance to catch up with Aman Grewal (one of the two brothers who own the restaurant) for a long time.

When he told me about their new lunch thali, I popped down to check it out and to catch up with him about the latest developments.

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Although they still sell lunch wraps at the stall just outside the restaurant, Aman and Preet now also offer a fast sit down lunch option. They’ve redeveloped the space by the entrance, and created a larger counter area. Trays and plates are at the ready, as are pots of piping hot food. Instead of wasting time sitting down, waiting for table service, placing an order and waiting again for their food, diners queue directly at the counter as they come in, make their selection between the meat or vegetable option of the day and choose either rice or roti as their accompaniment. These are quickly dished up into the compartmentalised metal plates (which took me straight back to childhood), along with a side portion of dal, an additional snack, two chutneys, a little plain yoghurt and mixed chopped salad.

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With the meat choice, the lunch thali is £6.90, or £6.40 with the vegetarian choice.

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On the day of my visit I chose chicken kofta curry (over the potato curry vegetarian choice of the day) and roti (which was satisfyingly enormous). I was also served a rich yellow dal, two potato tikkis (spiced potato cakes), a fresh coriander chutney and a mango chutney plus a dollop of natural yoghurt and a small side salad. Everything was very good, as I’ve come to expect, and I was absolutely stuffed. It’s probably just as well I don’t live closer, to be honest!

For me, this quick and tasty lunch thali really did bring to mind the food and style of a real Indian dhaba.

The Grewals are currently working on a new food cart which will allow them to serve a wider range of hot snacks out front, things like pakoras, served piping out out of the oil. They’ve not yet blinged the cart up, and I’m strongly urging them towards an OTT Tata truck kind of style!

If you work near Chapel Market (near Angel tube station) or are passing by, I thoroughly recommend trying the new thali for a quick and affordable lunch break. Delhi Grill are planning to update their website, to show the meat and vegetarian dishes of the day, but in the meantime, you can always ask them via twitter!

Kavey Eats dined as a guest of Delhi Grill

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