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marlena spieler

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Everything posted by marlena spieler

  1. go to arisaig, on the road to moror and mallaig and stay at any cheap bed and breakfast of which there are many (for awhile there was a government grant/subsidy programme if you opened your home to b and b, so everyone did). you might try the arisiag hotel but it is very expensive (the big fancy one, the one in the village is funky). there is a little boat that goes to the island of eigg. its wild. pretty empty. wild horses frolic on the beaches. don't know how many ferries a week. there is also a little boat that comes back from the island that serves nothing but whiskey, a zillion kinds of
  2. you know, i always hated mcdonalds french fries (too salty, too greasy, too thin, too heavy)...and then, just the fact that i don't like to support major big chains of any sort, etc if i can help it...so, can you imagine my amusement when i had lunch with several well-known french foodies and they discussed the merits of mcdonalds "frites"! was i scandalized? you bet! (and felt very affectionately towards my colleagues as well).
  3. ah, whitstable, once i went for a walk along the peter cushing boardwalk and then went to sit at the peter cushing love seat by the sea. and who do you think was there? peter cushing of course! he said: my wife and i used to love sitting here and gazing at the sea. and by the way my dear, have you had the oysters across the way (its right across from the whitstable oyster place). when he found out my name (marlena) he said: ah, i knew a marlene once...marlene dietrich of course...he kissed my hand..he was so debonair and suave and sweet.he introduced us to the colonel who was the very picture
  4. REALLY? i'm sceptical...but, what did they serve, details please? one of my supreme joys on in this hemisphere would be someone serving good mexican food. otherwise i'm gonna have to open that taqueria and man, i just don't have the energy or money...
  5. thanks, suvir! i once spent an entire afternoon in foods of india, too. i was with the food writer julie sahni, and oh oh oh did we have fun going through each and every lentil and grain and spice discussing the good things we could do with it. also the owner, please forgive me i forget his name, is quite a character! it was like a whole wonderful lifetime spent in that shop that afternoon! and afterwards we went to idipi palace a few doors down for idli-sambaar and other goodies. back to the loomi, though...the funny thing is that this dish is a culinary memory for me, a dish that i loved
  6. marlena spieler

    Rosh Hashana

    thank you, Marie-Louise! thank you very much for taking the time to tell me, it means a great deal. x marlena
  7. marlena spieler


    thanks, Jason! its good to be here. after yesterdays gazpacho posting, our gazpacho-making chez spieler has cranked itself up a notch. today i've got italians coming to lunch and my menu has veered its way through the med as usual, but with temps hovering around a hundred in merry ol england, we're starting with gazpacho of course. got a good deal on cucumbers yesterday at the shops so i might be heading in a very cucumbered direction, come to think about it, maybe i'll go all tzadziki-ish instead. menu so far: little bowl of appetizer marinated maroccan-ish carrots, the cucumber gazpacho/tza
  8. marlena spieler

    Rosh Hashana

    For Rosh Ha Shana I make a sephardic-inspired ginger-marinated two grape chicken. Lets see, it involves rubbing the chicken with a paste of fresh and dried ginger and also cinnamon, bound together with olive oil, a few spoonfulls of white wine or orange juice, and as always, garlic. Leave for an hour or so. or overnight. or ten minutes. its a forgiving bird. then stuff its little insides with grapes, surround with a few whole garlic cloves, and roast that guy for about an hour. are you going to shul? set the timer. or do it more slowly. it is forgiving unless you are observant and do not
  9. is abu hassan the place in jaffa that is sort of a crumbling cement hut, where the chickpeas and ful are cooked in copper vats in the back, and ladled into soup bowls and you scoop it all up, warm, with soft pita, sliced onions and a green zchug? if so: divine!
  10. marlena spieler


    As soon as the temp climbs and the tomatoes ripen, i'm makin gazpacho. bread, no bread, cukes no cukes, hit of chile or gazpacho for wimps, its there for every night of the week until the heatwave lifts........... here is a light one without bread but with a hit of both dried coriander and cilantro.......i ran it in my san francisco chronicle column Roving Feasts, about 2 weeks ago. to access it visit: http://marlenaspieler.com and click on to July 30, 2003 or go directly to sfgate.com and navigate your way to the wednesday food section archives, and again, find your way to july 30th. actual
  11. Foods of India on lexington is a wonderful store! i get my loomi wherever i can find it, so to speak: london, california, and foods of india! i had former inlaws who used it to simmer with lamb and lentils. yum. sad note: on my last trip to kaluystans i bought a bag of pozole and when i got it home, little worms were wriggling about the package. the time before it was.....i think rice. anyhow something grainy. i still love the place, but won't be buying grains etc there if foods of india has it instead!
  12. Foods of India on lexington is a wonderful store! i get my loomi wherever i can find it, so to speak: london, california, and foods of india! i had former inlaws who used it to simmer with lamb and lentils. yum. sad note: on my last trip to kaluystans i bought a bag of pozole and when i got it home, little worms were wriggling about the package. the time before it was.....i think rice. anyhow something grainy. i still love the place, but won't be buying grains etc there if foods of india has it instead!
  13. Having lived on the island of Crete and visited different parts of Greece and Cyprus, I am a huge enthusiast of Greek food and despair of those who distain it, and denigrate it in favour of Turkish food which is also delicous and varied and wonderful and I am a huge enthusiast of. Both cuisines are similar and different, share the vegetables and fruits that grow in the area, and share a Byzantine heritage. But they are also so very different from each other......... I'd like to say, however, that i think The Real Greek is the most overrated greek restaurant in london. and the real greek souvla
  14. i too have considered opening a taqueria in london, something on the order of the simple places in san francisco: good, straightforward, authentic (-ish) and delicious (very). the huge expensive always convinces me against it. however, i'm going to be doing a mexican workshop or evening with Slow Food (Britain). venue to be in london. watch this space! ai carumba!
  15. I think that the British are strangely obsessed with frying eggs on side walks and car bonnets, when people that actually live in hot climates sensibly stay indoors and leave their eggs in peace (piece?). i know, adam, its mad isn't it! when i was a californian and grew up in the hot hot hot central valley where my parents still live and where they mutter little noises such as : well, its getting a bit warm when the thermometer hovers around 110F which is does every summer. anyhow anyhow, i never cooked an egg on the sidewalk then. here i am in heatwave britain and not only have i cooked an
  16. but my dear, this stuff known as derma is the wonderful delicacy known as kishke! of course, to mix it with pasta, let alone tasteless pasta, should be worthy of several years in jail at the least. kishke is a very very very heavy substance, and combined with tasteless pasta could well be lethal. eat it roasted with a bit of brisket and oy: so delish! my husband, who isn't even jewish, has adopted kishke as his middle name. we had a cute kishke experience once, but i won't take the time to go in to it this moment. note that i said cute, not naughty as could perhaps be inferred........with the
  17. varoulko is sort of modern greek. some things delicious and pared down to essentials, but other things a bit overworked in an effort to be more, well, maybe european? had a soup of asparagus and a white fish that was divine, and also a sea bass carpaccio that was beautiful..............but other than that.......perhaps its being a visitor that makes me want to go someplace utterly greek, a little crazy, lots of music and dripping in olive oil, that sort of thing. varoulko is dignified. oh, but wait: i ate a meal elsewhere that the chef, whats his name, chris......veneris.....? ( i could be w
  18. I have to ask! Was it Fistful of Tacos? Legendary for selling cheap margheritas to sixth formers... not so great when I tried to 'rediscover my youth' and buy food as well... it was some dive that my brother-in-law thought looked good, never mind that I have written lets see, a few books on mexican food and have been known to throw tamale-making parties just for the hell of it (and making a big batch of tamales is a certain kind of hell, but worth it). anyhow, your basic crap de los crap, leathery flour tortillas, horrible fajitas of everything except what a fajita originally was (the skirt
  19. try the cool chile company, though i believe they are the company who sell their chiles at the borough market. for fresh, including tomatillos, try micheal michaud whose company is called peppers by post. he's in the southwest somewhere......if you have no luck looking him up, ring the food programme or vegtalk on bbc radio 4 as they'll have his details on their files. his tomatillos are great but expensive. he also does poblano and anaheim chillies among others. i have found poblanos and anaheims at harrods in the past but haven't looked in a long while. i truly do not thing that any restaur
  20. if you'll be in athens for a sunday, be sure to go to the street of souvlaki, whose name i forget but perhaps someone else knows it. not far from the plaka, on sundays the traffic is stopped and the street fills up with little wax-cloth covered tables and chairs, its crowded and chaotic, and the souvlaki is divine, all sizzling lamb fat and chopped onions. you can try to order exactly what you want, but the waiter will look at you and say something to the effect of: i think, yes, grilled tomatoes to go with the souvlaki, what about a salad, no forget the peppers today, and beer, definately, it
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