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eG Foodblog: Andy Lynes - Brighton Rock and Rolls


Andy Lynes
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Good to see you Andy; but where are the pictures of Brighton Rocks (both the sweet and the seashore kind)? Also the obligatory pix of the pier and of the banquetting rooms and kitchen in the Pavilion. And the pubs!

Brighton rock is of course on the list of must try local delicacies. I can probably get away with a shot or two of the piers (must stay on topic however) but I don't think they allow photography in the Pavillion. The banquetting room is stunning and I can at least get hold of a postcard and scan it in.

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15 January: Breakfast

Breakfast was of course the granola Alice and I made last night. Very delicious it was too. Not so very different from the flapjack really is it?

gallery_10_608_1105779416.jpg

Just had time for yet another instant coffee before heading out to Monteum Fish in Shoreham By Sea. An 8 mile trip along the coast just to get fresh fish! I picked up some scallops and dorade for Gill and I and some cod fillet for the kids. I asked permission to take a few shots of the shop but found that I had left the memory card for my digital camera in the reader attached to my computer at home. I'll try and get out there again before this blog is finished, but they had a good variety of fresh and smoked fish including guernard, codling, whiting, local bass, turbot, brill, red snapper, red mullet, haddock, salmon, crab, and a tank with live lobsters.

The menu for tonight will be seared scallops with fennel and watercress salad with an apple viniagrette followed by fillet of dorade with creamed cabbage and red wine sauce and then something with chocolate to finish. Not sure what yet, will have to hit the recipe book this afternoon.

I'm doing the kids fillet of cod in breadcrumbs with homemade potato wedges and a green vegetable of some sort. No doubt smothered in tomato ketchup.

Vegetables and sundry supplies came from Sainsbury supermarket in West Hove, then a final stop at our local butcher (5 minutes walk from the house) for a farm chicken for dinner tomorrow, along with a pound of pork and sage sausages and some bacon for a full english breakfast tomorrow morning.

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That soup looks awesome!  What a cool idea.

Thanks. I would have used something like flageolet in preference to red kidney beans if I had any in the house, and maybe some fresh herbs like flat leaf parsley or tarragon, but I quite liked the clean unadulterated taste of the veg coming through.

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As you are easily the most internationally renowned food and wine journalist currently extant in Patcham, England, obviously we are expecting some great things. Clearly the instant coffee was a misstep but certainly set you up as a man of the people, just like Prince Harry. But as one vile body to another, and in the admittedly selfish interest that you not become an invisible man, your loyal Canadian readership would strongly encourage you to pursue the following:

1. Any evocative recipes from British lads’ mags would be deeply appreciated such as ‘Crossing Jordan’ or what to serve with posh spices besides shipping them to Madrid. This serving suggestion comes to us from Tanya, age 19, from Bracknell.

2. Any chance that you’ll be serving up one of Sophie Conran’s tasty pies? As you know, we found them very exciting (and shamelessly bodice-dropping) indeed, especially the supremely cosy chicken, olive and preserved lemon or the downright cosseting beef, button mushroom and red wine versions, both of which reminded of a lazy Sunday leg-over under a duvet of your very good newspapers.

3. What you pictured for your inaugural breakfast with us are not flapjacks, at least not as commonly known on this far side of the wood. Flapjacks™ are not some twee British teatime confection, but rather a traditional Canadian foodstuff often associated with big breakfasting lumberjacks. Most commonly, a decent stack of flapjacks (see recipe below) would be served as a side dish with a half-dozen eggs, small T-bone steak, corned beef hash, roasted potatoes and several sausages. Loosely ground 'cowboy' coffee commonly accompanies. Suffice to say that if Proust had eaten a flapjack breakfast, he might have written a real opus.

”I’m A Lumberjack and I’m Okay” Canadian Flapjacks

from the cookbook John Cleese Cooks Canuck

(serves 1 lumberjack or 4 civilians)

• 2 cups flour

• 2 eggs

• 1 pinch sea salt

• 1/2 cup honey

• 1 and 1/2 cup apple juice or milk

• 2 teaspoons Baking powder

• 2 tablespoons oil

• 1 Pippin apple - grated

Combine all ingredients except apple with mixer. Add apple and mix by hand. Spoon into oiled fry pan, at medium heat. Turn when bubbles appear and harden. Brown other side. Serve immediately with your choice of topping. Maple syrup, thinned slightly with Canadian Club whisky, makes for a delightful topping.

4. So yes, and especially so that we can compare counter-cultural notes, so to speak, a proper red-carded English fry-up on Sunday morning would be well received, especially if it includes well-known British favourites such as Bourdain noir and your famously griddled tomato Hotel du Vin. And, defacto, passing if lurid references to Nigella Lawson will also be gratefully acknowledged.

5. We fully expect to see at least one recipe from the international bestseller Vancouver Cooks. Perhaps the crowd pleasing ‘Chicken in the Style of Fish Soup’, ‘Cleansing Ale Assault and Battered Haddock’, ‘What to Do with Extra Goats’ or ‘How to Roast an Eagle’? Forget about doing the ‘Beaver Pie’ recipe though please, it’s been so internationally replicated (much like other Made in Canada classics as our boeuf bourguignonne that the Frenchies copied and the Finnan Haddy that you bastards shamelessly hijacked), as to become a cliché. Besides, it's just not the same with ferret.

6. That being said, Andy, we’re certainly looking forward to some traditional British cookery such as a stirring chicken tikka or perhaps that default West Indian-Brit classic, jerk in the style of Mark Thatcher.

7. Canadians are scone-challenged. A pleasing recipe for this traditional British snackfood would play pretty big here, especially if it includes the use of indigenous British ingredients such as coconut or cardamom.

8. We understand that Boris Johnson has become a restaurant critic as he frequently eats out abroad. Any chance of sharing some of his revelations?

9. Some suggestions as to what to do with all of the British condiments that are weighing down our fridge doors such as HP Sauce or Branston Pickle which we bought in quantity recently at a fire sale.

10. We've never seen Swede Balls quite like this, Andy. Recipes for them over here usually include the use of meat. Is this (below) just the vegan equivalent or a real culture clash?

The eight hour lead time is just about perfect for provisioning and cooking, Andy, and we look forward to your further postings--especially in light of your recent outbreak of Mad Vegetable Disease--

gallery_10_608_1105779357.jpg

With nervous anticipation,

Jamie

[edited for vulgarity]

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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With nervous anticipation,

Jamie

[edited for vulgarity]

Was that to add vulgarity or to remove it? :raz:

Looking forward to the full English Andy, if your soup is anything to go by, there will be some nice technique there.

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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I'm enjoying this, Andy, and your daughter, Alice, is really cute!

But ham on a bagel? Talk about sacrilege... :raz:

Andy,

Please ignore this. New Yorkers have a completely false sense of entitlement about bagels and what to do to them. As long as you don't put tapenade on them, that is.

Yours, etc.

Jamie

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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I enlisted the help of Alice and George in making their evening meal, getting them to pane the cod which I had skinned, de-boned and trimmed into fingers for Alice and a large single fillet for George. We laid out three plates; the first with some well seasoned plain flour, a second with an egg, cracked and whisked by Alice, and a third with Panko breadcrumbs.

I first came across Panko or Japanese breadrumbs back in the mid-90's when I spent some time in the kitchen at The Fifth Floor at Harvey Nichols when Henry Harris was head chef there. He used them for a number of purposes, not least his excellent fishcakes. I'm sure most of you are familiar with them, but if not, they are shreds of breadcrumbs and they produce a really nice crunchy texture.

Here is Alice and George hard at work:

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I made some potato wedges by simply cutting some unpeeled maris pipers into eighths, tossing in some sunflower oil and baking in a hot oven on a baking tray. The fish was shallow fried and accompanied by plain boiled broccoli.

gallery_10_608_1105871924.jpg

The wedges cooked a little longer than they should have done, but both kids cleaned their plates.

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Child labour laws not too bad in Brighton then?

I'm going to make the choice for my son very clear - "it's three dozen tortellini, or I'm sending you down the mines, my lad!"

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Do the kids enjoy cooking? Or do you give them no choice in the matter? :laugh:

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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NOTE TO READER:

Just got off the phone with Andy and, alas, his server is down. He's pretty peeved as he consummated the Sunday English fry-up this morning as well as a photogenic meal last night. He'll be back in action from the office first thing Monday.

We wait with bad breath.

Hugs,

Jamie

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Do the kids enjoy cooking?  Or do you give them no choice in the matter? :laugh:

They enjoy it once in a while and for short periods of time. George is taking "Food Technology" classes at school at the moment and cooked some carrot cakes at home with no help from me from a recipe he learnt at school. I'm keen that when they eventually leave home, they'll be able to feed themselves well. I couldn't even boil an egg when I left the nest.

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Dinner 15 January

Menu

Seared Scallops with Watercress, Apple and Fennel Salad with Apple Vinaigrette

Pan Fried Royal Bream with Creamed Cabbage and Red Wine Sauce

Petit pot au Chocolate

There are very few occasions when I am entirely satisfied with a plate of food that I produce. I've either made some error in the cooking process, or the idea for the dish was flawed in the first place. Saturday night however was one of those rare times where everything just falls in to place. I don't think I could have done anything to improve the dish of seared scallops with apple, fennel and watercress salad and apple viniagrette that I served as a starter.

I've had the idea of scallops with apple and fennel for quite some time now but never really cracked how to put the three ingredients together. I took the pairing of scallop with apple from a recipe in Caterer magazine by British chef Tim Powell who at the time was head chef of the late lamented "The Canteen" in Chelsea harbour.

I'd wanted to do something with fennel after seeing a recipe by Alfred Portale where three different preperation of the vegetable were combined in a salad. The idea of shaved fennel seemed like a good way to get control of the vegetables quite aggressive flavour, scattering little hits of it throughout a dish.

I wanted the apple to give a very green, crisp flavour, so Granny Smith was the obvious choice. Watercress suggested itself as the natural peppery foil to the tart apple and the perfumed anise of the fennel.

Apple viniagrette seemed like a nice idea although until I started to make it, I really had no firm idea how to incorporate the apple into the dressing. I started by mixing cider vinegar and mustard together with some salt and pepper and whisking in equal quantities of olive and vegetable oils. I then made a very fine dice of some of the apple and stirred it in to the dressing. It still needed something more to achieve a true apple character.

I considered adding some apple juice from a carton but thought it would taste too sweet. It then occured to me that if I used my microplane to grate the apple, the flesh would turn to pulp and I could squeeze that through a chinois to extract the juice. This, along wth some finely chopped chives completed the dressing perfectly.

Not owning a Japanese mandolin, I wondered as I peeled the fennel if my knife skills were up to producing thin enough slices of the vegetable. Only then did it hit me that I could simply go on peeling the fennel with the speed peeler to produce exactly the result I was looking for.

I combined the fennel, trimmed watercress and some finely sliced apple in a bowl and dressed it with a little of the viniagrette. I removed the scallops from the half shell using a dessert spoon, pushing it down between the muscle and the flesh and then around and under to scoop out the scallop. I washed off the sand and grit (there was quite a lot of it. Obviously dredged, not hand dived scallops. ) and then sliced each of the scallops into two across the middle, which I then briefly seared in oil and butter for one minute on one side and 30 seconds on the other.

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I arranged the salad in the centre of a large white plate and spooned two stripes of the viniagrette either side, then laid 4 scallop slices on top of the salad. The finishing touch was a few leaves of thyme on each slice. The result was very elegant, white on green, and it tasted very good indeed.

For the bream, I began by filleting the fish and making a stock from the trimmings by sweating a shallot, some fennel and leek in oil, then adding the chopped bones. I cooked these for a moment or two then added a splash of wine, some water, a bay leaf, thyme and peppercorns. I bought this to the boil, skimmed the surface and allowed it to simmer for a round 20 minutes before passing it through a chinois.

For the cabbage, I first made a fine brunoise (or dice) of swede, carrot and celeriac and blanched them in boiling water, drained and refreshed them. I sliced one onion finely and sweated it in a pan for about 5 minutes until it was soft, then added a head of finely sliced savoy cabbage and cooked it gently for around 45 minutes to an hour until it had completely collapsed and softened. I added a drop of water from time to time to prevent the cabbage from sticking. (I picked up this technique, which produces a strongly flavoured, slightly caramelised result, from Bibendum restaurant in London when I worked a day in their kitchens. At the time, they were serving the cabbage with cream and juniper to accompany pheasant.) I finished the cabbage by adding cream and the reserved diced vegetables and seasoning it well.

The sauce was made by reducing half a bottle of red wine with three sliced shallots, thyme, bay and peppercorns until it reached a syrupy consistency, then adding the fish stock I had made earlier and reducing again to coating consistency. I finished the sauce by adding butter (monte au beurre) and correcting the seasoning.

I pan fried the bream in olive oil and butter skin side down on a medium heat for around five minutes in order to achieve a crisp skin. This method protects the flesh and prevents it from drying out. I turned the fish over in the pan and took it of the heat to finish the cooking. I re-heated the cabbage and the sauce and served as pictured below.

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The chocolate dessert was made very simply by whisking egg yolks and sugar together and adding chocolate melted in milk and some vanilla infused cream. I mixed this well then poured into ramekins and cooked on a low heat for an hour and allowed then to cook in the fridge for as long as we could resist the temptation of eating them.

(picture to follow).

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As you are easily the most internationally renowned food and wine journalist currently extant in Patcham, England, obviously we are expecting some great things.

You are too kind, I'll try not to disappoint

Any chance that you’ll be serving up one of Sophie Conran’s tasty pies?

No, I was simply dropping her name in order to make myself sound more interesting and important than I actually am.

What you pictured for your inaugural breakfast with us are not flapjacks, at least not as commonly known on this far side of the wood.

I think I'm going to open a chain of Flapjack stores across Canada and North America, if only to annoy the natives.

Forget about doing the ‘Beaver Pie’

In my youth, I could often be found doing the Beaver Pie at house parties, although I actually favoured the mash potato, the swim and of course the twist.

Canadians are scone-challenged. A pleasing recipe for this traditional British snackfood would play pretty big here, especially if it includes the use of indigenous British ingredients such as coconut or cardamom.

I have a scone recipe by English chef John Tovey which includes curry powder. Its very good, although my favourite is Darina Allen's sweet scone recipe. I could knock some up if you are serious.

We understand that Boris Johnson has become a restaurant critic as he frequently eats out abroad. Any chance of sharing some of his revelations?

He's found are really good place for beaver pie.

Some suggestions as to what to do with all of the British condiments that are weighing down our fridge doors such as HP Sauce or Branston Pickle which we bought in quantity recently at a fire sale.

I can't tell you the feeling of panic that overtook me when, for the second week running, I visited my local supermarket only to find empty shelves again where the Branston should have been. I've managed to track down a jar or two on the black market, but any further donations will be gratefully recieved.

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andy,

i'm really enjoying your blog - i can't wait to see a photo of those scallops!

your son is going to SLAY the ladies once he's a teenager and lets his hair fall across his eyes...

from overheard in new york:

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!

Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train

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andy,

enjoying your blog--though i cannot approve of wanton food wastage. i am, however, discomfited to discover that you don't exactly eat like those kids in enid blyton's books--she would have been very suspicious of all this continental mucking about. all my illusions are being dashed one by one.

mongo

p.s: i do find it funny though that you keep reminding yourself to stay on topic--i hope no one's shocking you or anything.

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