Archive | August, 2013

Urban Burger – Exeter

9 Aug

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It was the last Sunday of grad week. I’d frequented the grad ball the previous night. It was 2pm Sunday and I had not eaten anything yet. Hunger was raging.

 

I was craving some carby, salty yet healthy-ish food (yes I am a weird hungover) and thought a great bet would be a relatively new restaurant to Exeter – Urban Burger. I’d been before which…  was a weird experience. Ollie and I were the only ones in the restaurant, which I know didn’t set the ambiance off, however we were surrounded by very clichéd fake 90’s graffiti decor, whilst smooth jazz echoed through the restaurant. We didn’t hang about. Nonetheless  the food was pretty good! We both agreed a takeaway would be better – especially with a great 15% discount on eat-in prices.

 

I opted for the ‘Aphrodite’ (God knows about the name) wrap hit the spot –  Grilled Halloumi, rocket, tomato, red onion, hummus, grilled peppers, courgette, aubergine, Tzatziki. deee-lish.

 

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The Best Key Lime Pie ever

5 Aug

This recipe caught my eye ever since Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood claimed it was the best thing they’d ever tasted in three series of the Great British Bake Of. Well, it was about time I tried it!

It’s not the quickest dessert by any means but if you’ve got an afternoon to spare and are craving a bake that will last all week, look no further. This is a great pie, lots of flavour and zingyness, a perfect after dinner treat!

You are only  required to use a few of the left over egg whites for the meringues, but don’t be wasteful – use them all up! I managed to get a pavlova base as well as a load more meringue nests out of the leftovers to freeze. As I didn’t have a blowtorch, I also piped my meringues onto a baking tray and baked them in a low oven the conventional way

Recipe is from the Great British Bake off Showstoppers book

Ingredients

For the sweet ginger pastry image
For the lime filling

Method

  1. For the sweet ginger pastry, sift the flour, icing sugar, ground ginger and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Rub in the cubed butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Mix the egg yolk into the water and add into the flour mixture, stirring with your hands until the mixture just comes together as a dough. Add olive oil if the dough is a little dry. Wrap the pastry in cling film and set aside in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  5. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin.
  6. Drape the dough over the rolling pin and use it to transfer the pastry to a 30cm/12in tart case. Press the pastry into the tin, ensuring there are no gaps in the corner. Allow the excess pastry to overhang the tin.
  7. Cover with clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes.
  8. Prick the bottom of the pastry case with a fork. Line the case with baking paper and weigh it down with baking beans, rice or lentils.
  9. Bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove the baking beans and paper and bake for a further 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool on a rack.
  10. Reduce the oven temperature to 170C/325F/Gas 3.
  11. For the lime filling, in a large mixing bowl whisk together the condensed milk with the lime juice, lime zest, egg yolks until the mixture thickens. Stir in the chopped stem ginger. Taste the filling, and fold in some icing sugar, if needed.
  12. Pour mixture into the pie crust, smooth the top with a palette knife and bake for 15-20 minutes. The pie is ready when the filling has a slight wobble or when the temperature in the centre has reached 70C when checked with a probe thermometer.
  13. Set aside to cool for half an hour in the baking tin, then chill the pie in a refrigerator for as long as possible.
  14. Place the sugar in a heavy-based deep saucepan with six tablespoons water over a medium heat. Bring the mixture to the boil without stirring, brushing down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Remove the syrup from the heat when it reaches 120C/248F (the firm ball stage).
  15. In a free-standing mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.
  16. While whisking, pour the boiling syrup onto the egg whites in a thin, steady stream, being careful not to pour the syrup on to the whisk as it may splash onto your hands.
  17. Continue to whisk the egg whites until the mixture is stiff, shiny and stable.
  18. Place the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm round nozzle.
  19. Once the pie is chilled, sprinkle the reserved lime zest and grated chocolate over the top of the pie.
  20. Pipe the meringue around the edge of the pie in generous swirls.
  21. Using a cook’s blowtorch, gently caramelise the meringue so that the top is light golden-brown.

Griddled Courgette, Garlic, Chili, Basil and Pistachio Tagliatelle with

2 Aug

IMG_20130802_225812My aunt and uncle provided us with a couple of lovely fresh courgettes from their vegetable garden – as they are having such a great season the best way to cook them at this time of year is simply griddled on the barbecue.
This dish was inspired by my favourite Italian restaurant in Nice – where a similar dish was by far my fave. Although they had the addition of scallops (which unfortunately are a bit of a luxury and not a simple dinner ingredient)

Dad was at the barbecue so it’s to his credit how tasty it was!
I always think you should alter any amount of ingredients to suit your tastes – if you fancy more basil or chili then go for it

Serves 2:
Ingredients:
150g tagliatelle (or linguine or spaghetti)
1 large courgette, cut into rounds
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 fresh chili, sliced or a pinch dried chili
2 handfulls shelled pistachios
1 ball of mozzarella, teared
A good knob of butter
A few tablespoons olive oilIMG_20130802_225733
Salt and pepper
Around 10-15 large basil leaves, torn

Method:

1. Put your pasta water on to heat up. On a griddle pan or barbecue, grill your sliced courgettes, turning once after about 4 minutes, until they have lovely charcoal marks on either side. Keep on a heatproof plate in a warm oven

2. Start cooking you pasta – ensure you have a good glug of olive oil in the water to stop the pasta from sticking. Meanwhile, heat your olive oil in a large frying pan and add your garlic to brown, take off the heat and add the pistachios and chilli (they will cook in the hot oil even if it’s off the heat)

3. Drain your pasta, add with a good knob of butter to the frying pan with olive oil garlic etc, add the basil leaves and courgettes, season and give it all a good toss, add some more olive oil if needed. Serve and sprinkle over the mozzarella