Homemade sourdough bread

My friend Sam makes sourdough bread from scratch, even preparing his own natural yeast using wholegrain rye flour and water over several days, skimming off some and replenishing with fresh rye flour and water. This creates a ‘starter’ and contains bacteria and a little alcohol, which give the bread...

Chorizo and feta quiche

It was a bold idea, but it didn’t quite work.  I made shortcrust pastry and lined it with feta cheese for a change.  Then came thick slices of chorizo, plus chopped onions and some creamed spinach. Egg and milk, of course, and seasoning, and 40 minutes in a 170...

Manicomio in Chelsea

Manicomio in Chelsea is always good. For an outdoor lunch there I started with the cured Piedmontese beef, which was good, then went on to their Portland lobster ravioli with tomatoes, marjoram, chilli & garlic. It was the beat I’ve ever had and easily held its own alongside a...

Half leg of lamb

It is among my favourite roasts because it comes out so sweet.  I score the outside and insert slices of garlic.  Then I brush with sunflower oil and rub rosemary onto the outside, and finally crystals of salt from Blokhus in Denmark.  My cooking time in a 160 fan...

Rare roast beef at Balls Brothers

There’s a branch in Buckingham Palace Road, just across from Victoria Station.  I chose the rare roast beef sandwich, which comes on brown bread with beef tomato, watercress and horseradish sauce. I asked for mustard as well as horseradish. It was good, chunky with beef, but way too much...

Loch Fyne’s Smokehouse Ashet

Loch Fyne restaurant serves a starter called “Smokehouse Ashet.”  It is for sharing between two persons and contain 3 salmon dishes.  There is traditional sliced smoked salmon, chunks of cold smoked salmon, and bradan rost, a cooked steak of salmon.  It is served with peppercorns and brown bread.  All...

Chicken casserole

It’s not the most difficult dish.  Chicken pieces about half an inch square, seared on the stove top in oil.  Then add chopped onions, red and green peppers, plus peas, sweetcorn and mushrooms in a half pint of chicken stock from an Oxo cube.  Add chopped garlic, cayenne pepper...

Chicken Milanese at the Ivy Market Grill

The Ivy Market Grill is on the corner of Henrietta Street in Covent Garden.  They do a huge menu featuring international dishes.  I had their brioche crumbed chicken Milanese with fried hen’s egg and black truffle mayonnaise.  It was nicely done, moist inside and with the egg yolk suitably...

Tapas at All Bar One

All Bar One does offer plate sized meals, but I usually go for a selection of the smaller dishes. Among my favourites are the spinach and feta bourek in flakey pastry, the chorizo and halloumi skewers, and the chicken skewers with a ginger teriyaki sauce....

Pan-fried gurnard at Fish Works

I chose it at Swallow Street’s Fish Works, just along from Bentley’s Oyster Bar. Pan-fried gurnard served skin side up, signalling that you’re supposed to eat the skin.  I did.  It was very good, enhanced by the excellent salad.  Feta cheese. olives, cucumber, and most crucially, hardly any leaves!...