foodie for thought

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity. ~Voltaire

Tonight’s dinner

Harissa covered baked white fish with chickpea, cucumber, tomato and red onion salad.

Super healthy and amazingly easy. This could become a regular weeknight meal. Harissa paste is my new go to staple for a meal.

Our roast that we made last night. Roast garlicky chicken, roast potatoes, honey glazed parsnips, stuffing, Yorkshire puddings and my personal favourite brocolli and leek cheese bake. All topped off with homemade red wine and chicken gravy. Dang that was tasty. We may have also had ice cream after this mammoth feast.

Our roast that we made last night. Roast garlicky chicken, roast potatoes, honey glazed parsnips, stuffing, Yorkshire puddings and my personal favourite brocolli and leek cheese bake. All topped off with homemade red wine and chicken gravy. Dang that was tasty. We may have also had ice cream after this mammoth feast.

A mouthwatering array of quiches at portabello road. If only I hadn’t just had a delicious Lebanese for lunch before. Take them to go?

A mouthwatering array of quiches at portabello road. If only I hadn’t just had a delicious Lebanese for lunch before. Take them to go?

Superfood salad of organic lentil and avocado with chickpeas, fennel and smoked chicken at Pain Quotidien. A hefty portion right there! But so amazingly healthy and filling. Just what I need for a health kick.

Superfood salad of organic lentil and avocado with chickpeas, fennel and smoked chicken at Pain Quotidien. A hefty portion right there! But so amazingly healthy and filling. Just what I need for a health kick.

Nailed the waffle. Having a waffle maker has revolutionised my life. Cover with maple syrup and add a ton more bacon than this. When we were feeling very naughty we added blueberries, bananas and peanut butter. Yep. That happened. Bring on cinnamon waffles next.

Nailed the waffle. Having a waffle maker has revolutionised my life. Cover with maple syrup and add a ton more bacon than this. When we were feeling very naughty we added blueberries, bananas and peanut butter. Yep. That happened. Bring on cinnamon waffles next.

Dabbous - Whitfield Street

I was massively excited to visit the fine dining delight that is Dabbous a couple of weeks back. It made a thundery, rainy day in London that bit bearable. 

There’s been quite a bit of hype and talk about Mr Ollie Dabbous, particularly with his recent opening of Barnyard on Charlotte Street, which is next to tick off my list. To be honest the vibes of these two restaurants couldn’t be more contrasting, which I actually quite like. So I knew this was a dining opportunity not to miss. 

'Industrial warehouse chic' has been used to describe the decor of this establishment, but I'm quite a fan. Maybe because it suited the moody outside weather, and coming into dark mahogany and gridiron installations, exposed copper pipes and giant air vents craning their way around the ceiling was just what I fancied that day. Let’s just say it’s got quite a manly feel to it. 

First off, you’d be hard pushed to find a tasting menu for under £50 anywhere else in London - but you’ve got that right here in Dabbous. Somehow. You can see why there’s no need for more than one table cover at a time here, thanks to this fantastical tasting menu. Due to time constraints - although I would have loved to hide out here for the remainder of the afternoon - we opted for the four course lunch menu, not a bad substitute. 

To start, freshly baked hazelnut bread with salted butter in a datestamped brown paper bag was served to our table alongside some very juicy queen olives. It would be incredibly easy to scoff your way through slices and slices of this, but some willpower had to be enforced.

For each course following, you have a choice of two - how generous. You’re pretty stumped if you don’t like the sound of either, but I think you’d be hard pushed not to. So here were my choices.

So next up was smoked salmon infused with elderflower on a bed of puree. This was incredibly light and delicate, and you could taste the freshness of that fish.

The vegetarian course of the day was charred broccoli in lashings of rapeseed oil dressing. If it wasn’t such a fancy place I would have been licking the plate clean. Get me some rapeseed oil now so I can recreate this!

The main event was cod brandade with puffed bread on top, complete with pickled onion and olive soil. It reminded me of one of my favourite Portuguese dishes, bacalhau. The balance in this dish was just about right, and somehow it was made really dainty, but felt strangely filling at same time.  

Possibly my favourite course was the dessert, which is very unlike me. Potentially because it was more of a savoury offering of roasted peach with burrata. And I LOVE burrata. Super creamy and a beautiful compliment to the sweet, juicy peach doused in honey.

Dabbous is definitely a worthwhile trip and provides an experience you won’t forget. On top of the outstanding quality of food, the wine is top notch. I love the little touches like pouring the red wine into a decanter to let it aerate - not something you see in any old restaurant now.

Next up is Barnyard. But I’m definitely heading back to get me some of that tasting menu as a dinner to really soak up the atmosphere that Mr Oliver Dabbous has so effortlessly made cool.

#yabbadabbadabbousfoodieforthought

Linguine with chilli and garlic butterflied prawns, peas and grated courgette tossed in creme fraiche as opposed to double cream to make the dish lighter. And if you like your black pepper like I do then add heaps of it.
Super simple and massively tasty. I may have gotten carried away with my portion sizes…woops. 

Linguine with chilli and garlic butterflied prawns, peas and grated courgette tossed in creme fraiche as opposed to double cream to make the dish lighter. And if you like your black pepper like I do then add heaps of it.

Super simple and massively tasty. I may have gotten carried away with my portion sizes…woops. 

Seafood Laska (spicy noodle soup)
Next time I’m at Wagamama I’m having their version of this. 

Seafood Laska (spicy noodle soup)

Next time I’m at Wagamama I’m having their version of this. 

Malay Vegetable Curry. Tofu and Aubergine yes please.

Malay Vegetable Curry. Tofu and Aubergine yes please.

Spinach, chicken, asparagus and pea risotto with Parmesan and white wine.
Ingredients:
140g of risotto rice 1 pack of diced chicken  1 pack of asparagus  Peas 1 large white onion  Half a bag of spinach
Method:
Finely dice the onion, and dice the chicken into bite size chunks
Add oil to a pan, and fry the onions till translucent, then add the chicken, followed by some asparagus and peas. Make sure that the chicken stays moist and doesn’t dry out whilst cooking
Add your risotto rice (top tip: toast ths for two minutes before adding your stock)
Add water to the pan, together with a vegetable stock cube. Add a dash of white wine for some acidity
Leave to simmer until the rice has absorbed the liquid, and keep stirring to ensure the rice is tender and has a creamy consistency
Throw half a bag of spinach in to wilt
Stir through some grated parmesan to finish it off
And there you have it. Risotto is not a scary thing to cook - which I always thought it was. So have a go, and the beauty of it is that you can add have a variety of ingredients with risotto. I love mushroom risotto, butternut squash, and a prawn and pea risotto. Even better when they’re packed with a lot of cheese. And if you put a lot of green veg in it, then you can fool yourself that it’s healthy. Five a day? 
parmesanaddictfoodieforthought

Spinach, chicken, asparagus and pea risotto with Parmesan and white wine.

Ingredients:

140g of risotto rice
1 pack of diced chicken
1 pack of asparagus
Peas
1 large white onion
Half a bag of spinach

Method:

Finely dice the onion, and dice the chicken into bite size chunks

Add oil to a pan, and fry the onions till translucent, then add the chicken, followed by some asparagus and peas. Make sure that the chicken stays moist and doesn’t dry out whilst cooking

Add your risotto rice (top tip: toast ths for two minutes before adding your stock)

Add water to the pan, together with a vegetable stock cube. Add a dash of white wine for some acidity

Leave to simmer until the rice has absorbed the liquid, and keep stirring to ensure the rice is tender and has a creamy consistency

Throw half a bag of spinach in to wilt

Stir through some grated parmesan to finish it off

And there you have it. Risotto is not a scary thing to cook - which I always thought it was. So have a go, and the beauty of it is that you can add have a variety of ingredients with risotto. I love mushroom risotto, butternut squash, and a prawn and pea risotto. Even better when they’re packed with a lot of cheese. And if you put a lot of green veg in it, then you can fool yourself that it’s healthy. Five a day? 

parmesanaddictfoodieforthought