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Miss J

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  1. Cooked some thai red curry paste in oil, then browned some chicken thighs in it. Added coconut milk and left to simmer while blanching tinned bamboo shoots, soaking black cloud ear fungus, and chopping up some butternut squash. Added the vegetables to the curry around 10 minutes before serving time. Finished with a bit of palm sugar, fish sauce, kaffir lime leaf and some slices of fresh chili.

    Served with jasmine rice. Ate in front of the football. Wept bitter tears (but not about the curry).

  2. It wouldn't have been my first choice, but I had most of a bottle sitting in the fridge because I felt ungracious about throwing it out. And since last night's dinner was very much a quick weeknight event, I seized the opportunity to include it in my using-up-leftovers binge. (And I think the mustard, although not an obvious flavour in the finished dish, did a lot to counteract the oak.)

    In other words, now that I've used a glass AND a slug of it, I feel okay about throwing out the rest of the bottle. :biggrin:

  3. I found some cheap, reduced-to-sell oyster mushrooms in very good shape. My off-the-cuff dinner went something like this:

    1. Render (leftover) smoked bacon lardons until crisp

    2. Add cheap oyster mushrooms, saute

    3. Add a slug of leftover new world chardonnay (one of those ones that I alwasy find too oaky for my taste - but it was a gift, so who's complaining?)

    4. Reduce until liquid is slightly syrupy

    5. Add a blop of dijon mustard

    6. Add a swizz of extra thick single cream

    7. Add some freshly cooked penne

    Serve with crisp green salad dressed with lemon and olive oil.

    It was nice. And easy. And I felt virtuous as I managed to use up everything in my fridge that was at its this-needs-to-be-used-now point.

  4. Tony, I suspect it's going to struggle to stay open at all, and not just because the good people of Eynsham may prove a little leery of real Indian food. The fact that a number of decent restaurants have failed on that patch isn't a good sign. Sometime buildings just can't, for whatever reason, support a successful restaurant...and this sounds ominously like one of them.

    That said, if this place has a hope of surviving, I think Adam's made a good start on developing their word-of-mouth. However, it's worth dragging as many locals in as possible, as they'll be the make-or-break revenue generators.

    Adam, how well do you know your neighbours? :smile:

  5. Last night I cooked for the first time in ages (been working/socialising too much), and since I got home late (again - but without intending to this time), I went for the cheap & simple dinner-in-20-minutes route:

    Eggs stir-fried with ginger, tomatoes, and spring onions, then finished with chopped fresh coriander

    Shredded green cabbage stir-fried with lardons of unsmoked bacon and garlic in ginger/dried red chili/star anise oil and finished with a little soy sauce

    Sambal olek (because I eat it whenever possible...it was nice with the eggs)

    Steamed jasmine rice

  6. Yes, Paolo's a decent little restaurant. I had the courgette/black truffle pasta as well, so I'm glad to see I'm not the only person seduced by its buttery charms.

    My observations match yours pretty much exactly, but the only other thing I noticed was that certain dishes seemed excessively lemony - not is a nice zippy way, but in an actively mouth-puckering one. Maybe its my own fault for choosing tuna carpaccio and rocket to start (with lots and lots of lemony sourness), and then following my pasta with the lemon tart (more of a super-tart lemon cheesecake), but even a sour-fan like me found it a little much near the end. Of course at those prices, I'm not going to hold it against them. :smile:

  7. 414, Brixton:


    Banging trance, lots of lights, and a chill-out room upstairs that basically consists of, er, a floor to sit on with 150 of your closest friends. There's a fish tank, a telly with the sound turned off, and holes in the walls through which you can peer out at the unsavoury characters who populate Coldharbour Lane at 5am.

    I only know one person who's seen it in daylight, and he finds it difficult to talk about the experience. :unsure:

  8. I make both a European-style chicken stock and a Chinese-style one. My Euro one is similar to the ones already described (except probably nothing like as good :laugh:).

    My basic Chinese stock is chicken and sometimes pork bones (both from Ling Foo in Chinatown), flavoured with crushed ginger and spring onions.

  9. Came in late last night, and wanted to catch the new series of The Office rather than spend time in the kitchen (for once). So I caramelised some cubes of butternut squash in a bit of butter, added red pepper strips, then stirred in some beaten duck eggs and a handful of rocket until the eggs had set in large, soft curds. Ate with lots of black pepper, whilst peering through my fingers at David Brent's latest antics.

  10. Took two chicken breasts (boneless, skinless, tasteless), pounded them flat, and rolled them around a stuffing made of stale focaccia soaked in milk, cooked chopped well-drained spinach, parmesan and black pepper. Wrapped in parma ham, drizzled with a bit of EVOO, and threw in the oven to roast.

    Ate with these really cool garlic-shoot-things I got at a Chinese market. They smell garlic-y, but when you roast them in a bit of butter or OO they taste mild and slightly sweet, like asparagus.

    We also drank water. Not because it was the BEST thing to drink with stuffed chicken breasts in parma ham, but because we were trying to be a little bit healthy. :wink:

  11. I think the worst comment I can make about the place is that it was more a throwback to the type of French bistro/restaurant that I used to find in London pre the food revolution occuring there, then the type of place I've come to expect.

    Coming from you, that's pretty severe, Steve. :wink:

  12. My mum keeps hers in a dark cupboard next to the flour, as the onions seem to do a good job of keeping weevils out. She usually keeps her potatoes in the same place - once you've found one dark, cool, dry cupboard, you might as well fill it up.

    Whether this is the smug scientific bastard choice of onion/potato storage, I've no idea. :wink:

  13. I've used the Joubere stocks, but as Adam says they're really expensive if you need them in quantity. I've also used the Marigold veggie powder, but you need to be really careful with it in combination with other salty ingredients (ie parmesan, soy sauce). If you need stock for a dish that relies on other salty components to lend specific flavours, you're best off using the real deal.

    On the "making lots every six months" side of things, you can usually pick up very cheap boiler chickens from Chinese or halal butchers. When I made a basic Chinese stock a couple weeks ago, I used a boiler chicken (around £1.50) and some pork bones (£0.50) from a butcher in Chinatown. I froze it in bags of different sizes (100ml, 250ml, 500ml) and filled a couple of ice cube trays as well - handy, and pretty gentle on the wallet.

    Edit: just remembered another option - you can get pricey veal and fish stocks in jars in the Sainsburys gourmet selection (or whatever the posh aisle's called). So if you're really in a fix and are feeling flush, that's a possibility too.

  14. Made anglicised char siu last night, and cut it into thin slices which I piled on top of rice noodles and steamed pak choi in a bowl and topped with spicy Thai pork stock. Topped with spring onions, minced chile, chopped coriander and a little fish sauce. Ate on the sofa whilst watching a very bad (but gratifyingly glossy) TV drama.

    Bloke was out. :cool:

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