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Miss J

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Everything posted by Miss J

  1. I can't believe nobody's said this yet: e-g Noo Jersey, you guys are all
  2. I too love olives. My mum does as well, and craved them during pregnancy, which may explain why I've been a happy olive-muncher since I grew teeth. My partner, on the other hand, does NOT like olives. All of my attempts at changing his opinion have, at best, convinced him that they're sort-of okay as long as they're cooked in a dish with lots of comphensating sweet flavours. Interestingly, he also doesn't like lime pickle, which I've come to love. Could it be that olives are representative of a particular strong salty-bitter flavour combo that people either love or hate? By identifying the olive-lovers, can you also generally pick out the people who like blue cheeses, lime pickle and preserved lemon? Miss J
  3. I'm not sure what I think of this. IF the peas are PERFECT, the foodie in me would be willing to pay silly money to pod & eat them on the spot just 'cos I'm a Londoner and truly fresh, sweet peas are so hard to get. On the other hand, I have childhood memories of having to sit & pod for what felt like HOURS during gorgeous, sunny summer days so that my family would have freezer full of peas come winter. So although I'm fond of peas (and who isn't?), I've always felt a tiny bit of residual resentment towards them... Miss J
  4. Miss J

    Dinner! 2002

    Robert, roast garlic (a whole head of it) was really good with the pureed peas - very rich and fragrant, and a nice counterpoint to the peas' sweetness. I imagine it would combine better with basil or another 'savoury' herb rather than mint, though. But if you wanted to use mint, maybe roasted shallots would work as well? Miss J
  5. Since this topic is reviving... I've suddenly realised that the reason why I love Nigella is because her writing reminds me of what it was like to cook with my best friend back at uni. We would talk about everything but the food we were working with, yet we inevitably moved around the kitchen in complete harmony and ended up producing some pretty damn fabulous meals. I've never had that with anyone else (but then I've rarely had a proper kitchen to cook in since I moved to London). "How to Eat" feels like cooking with a close friend. Which reminds me, I'm long past overdue a tooth-achingly expensive long-distance girlchat. Miss J
  6. I may actually be able to make the 12th. Although my schedule seems to change on an hourly basis, it's very likely that by that point the client will be quite happy to send me back to London so I'll stop racking up expenses. As much as I'd love to see Simon & Tony AND Stellabella on the 5th, I am almost certainly going to be working over that weekend. Much as I am this weekend. Sigh. Miss J
  7. Miss J

    Dinner! 2002

    Very simple last night - green pea soup. Loads of peas simmered in a light chicken stock, then whizzed in the blender with fresh basil and a little roasted garlic. Topped with croutons cut from a stale baguette and brushed with olive oil. Upliftingly green. Miss J
  8. Miss J

    Piece de resistance

    Depends on how well I know them, really. Miss J
  9. Okay: I'm off to Dusseldorf for a month as of this week. Although there's an excellent chance I'll be working horrendous hours while I'm there, I'd also hate to pass up the opportunity to try local specialities, excellent restaurants, etc etc. So...how about it, egullet? Does anyone have any recommendations? Miss J
  10. I had a great meal at Esarn Kheaw in Sheperds Bush a few weeks ago. Although the decor is outrageous (green, tacky, covered in posters) and the menu covers all the expected Thai favs, it also has a smattering of lovingly prepared northern specialities (as the name would suggest). I had a great, well-spiced larb that included thin strips of pork skin, a firey som tam made of pure green papaya (no cabbage or carrot in sight), and a small basket of authentic sticky rice. The owner is very appreciative of adventurous customers. As soon as he realised that I was genuinely interested in Esarn cooking, he was happy to talk about his recipes and make recommendations. It's very small and very popular, so make sure you book. Miss J
  11. I would love to come, but unfortunately my time just got a lot harder to schedule. I was told this morning that I need to work on a project in Dusseldorf for the next four weeks, probably starting this Wednesday. (Hmm...guess I better do some ironing, then.) I'll be back in London on the weekends, but I'm absolutely ruled out of any/all weeknight gatherings. And that includes Fridays. So I guess I'll have to be with you all in spirit. Just don't give Stellabella tinned crickets, okay? I'm sure a packet of pork scratchings would be frightening enough... Miss J
  12. Is that in Edgware? I may stop off there when I'm next up (which may be a while - I get nervous as soon as I step out of the North Circular). I'm a Selfridges salt beef girl, myself. Miss J
  13. Oh, and for things close to where you are...you're not saying that you're staying in Kings Cross, are you? Eeek. I really hope you're closer to the Bloomsbury OR Islington side...right on the border can be a bit rough. For groceries, you're a bit stuck in that area I'm afraid unless you head up to the big Sainsburys at Angel (which is a trek). You'd almost be better off ordering from them online and getting the goods delivered. For nearby "value eats" (and this may be out of date, as it's been over 5 years since I lived in the area): North Sea Fish Restaurant - rare decent fish & chips in London. Malabar Junction - South Indian food, which I think is pretty good. Simon may have something to say about that, though. Miss J
  14. Stellabella, a few more points on "ethnic London." Since the city is getting so outrageously expensive, a lot of key areas are away from the centre (like Southall). Even traditional areas like Brick Lane and Chinatown are under threat. When I was last in Chinatown, I noticed that a shiny new Bar Room Bar (anonymous middle market bar chain) had suddenly appeared in Gerrard Street right smack in the middle of all the trad restaurants & food shops. Very worrying. Brick Lane is transforming in a slightly more interesting way in that it's getting an influx of hip young designers and artists, but the quality of its restaurants has slipped badly. That said, there's a few places you can head out to for food, cheap-ish authentic restaurants, textiles and general vibe. Hackney in East London had become a mini Vietnamese haven when I last checked around 6 months ago. There's a good restaurant out there (some say the best Vietnamese in London) called Green Papaya on Mare Street. There's also a number of decent food shops with a strong Vietnamese bent. Just don't go after dark - the area is gentrifying, but it can still be rough. Arabic London is found along Edgeware Road between Marble Arch and Paddington. In high summer the sun loungers in Hyde park are often occupied by groups of fully veiled, wealthy Saudi women on holiday. You can get food, kitchenware, and hookas if you're so inclined. If Lebanese food isn't your thing, you can go a bit further up Edgeware Road (passing under the Westway flyover) and try eating at Kandoo, a rather nice Persian budget eatery. It's really, really hard to spend more than £20 on two people there, and they have their own "kandoo" (clay oven) at the front of the restaurant so you can watch your nan be made right in front of you. While you're up there you can also try out Mandalay, which I believe may be London's only Burmese restaurant. It's run by two brothers who are so incredibly nice you get the impression that they'd give you their food for free if they could. As it is, they charge very little anyway so it's worth trying if you're not familiar with the cuisine. If you head WAY out into suburbia (right at Edgware Station at the end of the Northern Line), you can find a huge shopping complex called Oriental City. It's angled at Chinese and Japanese ex-pats and offers food, clothes, kitchenware, books and a food court. Of course, if you haven't been to Brixton Market on Electric Avenue, it's the best place for Afro-Caribbean groceries, music, fashion and atmosphere. It's also good for a quick blast of Eddie Grant nostalgia - everyone I've taken there has spotted the street sign and squealed with recognition. Obviously that doesn't cover everything, but it's all I've actually been to during the last six months. And finally...another good budget eatery is the little French bistro that Wilfrid discovered on Berwick Street. Nothing fancy, but the food is well cooked and served with scads of charm. A good affordable find in Soho. There's been a lot written on it elsewhere on the UK board. Miss J
  15. A meme's been going around my coworkers lately that describes the best use for processed cheese I've yet come across. The best part is I know at least three people who've done this, so it really is a growing trend. Either that, or I just happen to know some incredibly sad people: Click for...Cheese Racing Miss J
  16. An excellent source for Indian food, textiles, music and anything else that grabs your fancy is Southall in South West London. It's not the easiest place to get to (take tube to Paddington, then train to Southall rail station), but it's worth the trip if you're looking for the real deal. For more info: Southall pics at southall.co.uk I usually snack when I'm out there, but I understand there's some good restaurants as well - Brilliant usually gets good reviews. Miss J
  17. Miss J

    Lotus Root

    Wow - what a great post, Linhua. Thanks for the recipe. And thank you also for the pronounciation guide as well. As I'm getting more and more interested in Chinese cuisine, I'm finding that my complete ignorence on how dishes/ingredients are pronounced becoming an issue. Thanks for helping me out.
  18. Miss J


    Opps...that's what happens when you're scanning/replying to egullet whilst talking on the phone to a coworker. :wow:
  19. Miss J


    Wilfrid & John W - how would you describe the gooseberry puree that was served with the fois gras? Was it still palate-ticklingly sharp, or had it been sweetened? If sweetened, was it as sweet as you'd make it for swirling with cream? I'm intrigued! Miss J
  20. Miss J


    Thanks helena - but I'm afraid that my gooseberries are very tart indeed, pretty much on the same level as rubarb. Speaking of rubarb, I've heard that some enterprising bartenders have been experiementing with using the straight juice as a 'sour' element in new cocktails. Wonder if I could use gooseberry juice the same way? They'd be very green drinks, though... Miss J
  21. Miss J


    Having relentlessly slagged off Sainsburys for their nauseating "life with Jamie-Oliver" ads, I feel a bit guilty that I a) was in the Finchley Road branch last night and b) delighted to discover that they have a slew of seasonal Kentish gooseberries just begging to be snapped up. So I'm now the proud owner of a container of gooseberries so magnificently green they'd make a kiwi weep with envy. I've been thinking about using them in a fool when my friends come for lunch on Saturday. But that's made me realise I'm not really familiar with other uses for gooseberries (crumbles? stewed and served with shortcake?), and I realised that I need some education. I mean, can you do "posh" gooseberries? All my ideas seem resolutely home-y. Over to you, folks. Miss J
  22. Thank you Wilfrid, the value-for-money comparison makes sense. Especially since, when I was last in Manhatten, I was struck by how incredibly thin everyone was in comparison to their whopping deli sandwiches.
  23. Miss J

    red-wine caipirinha

    It's just a super-simple sangria, isn't it? Sweet, citrus, wine...why anyone would bother to call it a caipiriniha, I'm not entirely sure though. :confused: Miss J
  24. As in they're too big or too small? Personally I find Pret's sarnies pretty filling, especially the richer ones like the BLT or chicken and avocado. I worry about a city that wants them to be bigger. Miss J
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