How many epic birthday parties did you have as a child? They were the event of the year with endless cake, balloons, magicians, games and most importantly presents. Did your parents also go overboard with the motto: the more the merrier? Not only was the entire class usually invited, but also family friends with children of a similar age. Now calculate how many presents and cake that results in? A LOT! Aside from the obligatory goody bags, one of the best parts of these parties were the games: musical chairs, water balloons, the knife and fork chocolate game (secretly I actually want to play this again… maybe tipsy…. that might increase the entertainment factor), hopscotch, hide and seek, jump rope, capture the flag and pass the parcel. The latter was great. Despite the small probability of actually having the parcel in your hands when only one layer of wrapping paper was left between you and the prize, adrenalin was still pumping every time it was your turn to unwrap.
Unwrapping parcels, presents and posted packages remains exciting to this day, even if you think you know what to find inside. I’m sure you have even all wrapped up a present for yourself and placed it under the Christmas tree at least once in your life…. or maybe that’s just my brother. But it proves the point. Things in parcels are exciting. So why not serve food in parcels as well? Not only is it a great way to develop the flavour while cooking, but it also almost always impresses the guests. Here is my latest attempt:
Salmon, Cranberry and Couscous Parcels with Caramelised Onions
I am sure most people have heard of the 24-hour restaurant close to Liverpool Street Station, running under this name.The view of this city by night from the 40th floor is breathtaking. If you add some good wine and excellent food, such as crispy pigs ears, to the equation, the experience becomes unique. There are some quite innovative dishes on the menu, but whilst quickly glancing over it, one dish in particular caught my eye. I had to try it. It was amazing.
An interesting combination of ingredients for the most random dish I have ever come across whilst dining out…..
Sitting in my living room at the end of a hectic day’s work, looking out over the rooftops of London, enjoying the blue sky and the tiny outline of the London Eye in the distance, I could finally put my feet up and relax. In that moment it hit me: I live in London!!! Admittedly one of my favorite cities. Moving to a city of this caliber has been more tiring than I initially thought. The amount of people out and about each day is fascinating, yet exhausting. Even on sundays the streets are bubbling with life (back home your lucky to find an open supermarket within 20 minutes). Some evenings you need a break from the buzz going on around you, a quick, tasty home made meal, a glass of wine and time to switch off your brain. These moments are rare. Enjoy them!! This recipe is the result of my most recent one.
A quick note about the word salmon for all our swiss/german readers: the “l” is silent, no joke. Please engrave this newly won knowledge into your mind. Thank you.
As for the recipe: it is a Jamie Oliver inspired simple salmon dish prepared within minutes. Perfect if you don’t want to invest a lot of time, but still feel like a satisfying your taste buds. Considering its based on one of Jamie’s recipes, I thought I’d stick to his art of cooking and go with my gut feeling regarding the amount of ingredients.
Very recently, we marked the end of an era: the four of us have recently all upped sticks and left our lovely little town in Switzerland and moved en masse to London. It turns out moving is hard work, and we’ve been busy little bees getting all settled in.
Before we left Basel for the big city, though, we thought we’d go out with a bang and mark our departure by splashing out on one of our favourite local dishes: Zürcher Geschnetzeltes with Rösti. We were feeling a bit fancy that day, so we also made some traditional Käsekuchen, and had ourselves a proper Goodbye Switzerland feast.
Zürcher Geschnetzeltes is made with veal, which sort of ruptured our bank accounts, and almost an insane amount of white wine. You could use a meat other than veal, but it wouldn’t be as yummy. The recipe we used was a slight modification of one we found via Coop. Pre-warning: we used ready-made Rösti. If you really want to go for it and make your own Rösti (essentially fancy potato hash), find a recipe alllllll the way at the bottom of the page of this Guardian article. (Pro-tip: add bacon bits for extra yum.)
After a (really, horrifically) failed and soggy attempt at making gnocchi following an internet recipe, I skyped my all-knowing Italian grandma to see if she’d share her secrets in the art of making gnocchi. The conversation went something like this:
“It’s very easy. You boil one potato. Or two. Three if they’re not too big. Or four. Once they’re done, you peel them and mash them.” (At this point she finally manages to focus her vision on the video.) “Oh my! Your hair is so long! Look at that!”
“Thank you! Now focus, Grandma.”
“Okay okay. So you mash them and add butter. Or milk. Both if you want. Then a pinch of white pepper and nutmeg and then flour. Lots of flour. Until it can’t take it anymore flour.”
“Okay… lots… of… flour… any idea how much?”
“A LOT. Half a kilo…. a kilo…. I dunno. So then let the dough rest a bit.”
“Grandma, what about eggs? No eggs?”
“Oh! yeah! Of course! When you make the mash, that’s when you put an egg in. Just one. So then you roll out the dough into little sausages, cut into squares and then roll them onto a fork for the shape. If you’re awesome like me, this will be very quick and simple. Boil some water and FINITO!”
Okay, so she didn’t say those last bits about being awesome. But the rest is all true.
This post is dedicated to the pervert person that landed on our blog after Google-searching “half handful tits”. First of all, why stop at half a handful? Why not go all the way? The second shout-out goes to the cannibal searching for “boiled cooked tits”…. WHAT?? And as for Mr. (or Ms.) “Resistance Orgasm”… NSA must be having a blast with your search history.
As part of our dedication, with this post, we wish to simplify their future searches:
With the moist weather gone at last, we decided to thrust ourselves lustfully into the art of barbecuing. We simply rubbed some succulent ribs and caressed some meaty wings with glistening sauce and smacked them onto the grill: the result was juicy, tender and bursting with exotic flavor – a carnal experience that titillates the senses and left us gasping for more.
The essence of this salad is in the pomegranate seeds. Add those crunchy sweet pops to anything and its taste will magically transform to a gourmet level. Ok not quite, but almost. I really only discovered the diversity of pomegranate when in a beach club in South Africa. They had a pomegranate mojito. It was amazing. Best mojito ever.
Warm Couscous Salad with Chicken, Rocket and Pomegranate seeds