Monday, 6 July 2015

My Week in Food - The Highlights #1

To mix the blog up a bit I thought I'd try a bit of a round up sort post, sometimes individual places or dishes don't really warrant a full blog post but I like to share/document them nevertheless. Rather than doing a series of short posts, like 'Look I made hummus (successfully) for the first time!' I've decided to wrap it all up in one finger scrolling post.

Elderflower Cordial 

Following the elderflower forage event held at Crafthouse I was keen to give making elderflower cordial a go. I hunted around the city to find elderflower (which I'm now noticing everywhere!) and then proceeded to scatter it all over D's car. You are welcome D, your car smells so much nicer now. 

It was pretty simple to make but my biggest difficulty was sourcing citric acid. The web told me to look in pharmacies, but I was turned away and directed to health food stores. Where I finally found it was Wilko's for a bargain price of £1 for 50g. 

The recipe I used produced around a ton of cordial, or thereabouts, which is now stashed in my fridge. I'm hoping the extreme amount of sugar I tipped in to it keeps it preserved for some time so none of it goes to waste. 

I can't wait to enjoy some elderflower and prosecco cocktails! 

A Barbecue Supplied by Leeds Markets 

The recent sunny weather prompted a long overdue barbecue. I'd normally make and prep my own barbecue meat but seen as it was just me and D I bought a barbecue bundle from Leeds Kirkgate market. The pack was a bargain at £5 and contained two steak burgers, two minted burgers, two kebabs, two pieces of chicken and six sausages! 

We cut out the sides and just had the meat as there was more than enough for both of us with the meat alone. 

The chicken I marinated in Nando's sauce (the massive Costco special bottle) and left it in the fridge for approximately 4 hours before cooking it in the oven and then finishing it off on the barbecue. D said it was the best thing on the barbecue so we certainly be doing that again! 

Turkey Meatballs 

The following day I made a huge batch of turkey meatballs in a tomato sauce. It must be at least two years since I last made them and it was hard to recall how I last made them. The meatballs have evolved from one of Nigella's recipes. Nigella's meatballs are more Italian style and with a thinner sauce. I prefer them in a slightly spicy and more Moroccan/Spanish style with a thicker chunky sauce. My balls are also bigger than Nigella's, giving them a bit more bite. 

A cheap healthy meal that freezes well. 

I served the meatballs with couscous that I threw together with some left over bits, olives and their garlic oil plus some pine nuts and the remnants of a salad bag. 

I had them again later on in the week with some rocket and spicy rice. 

Home Made Hummus 

One day after work I decided to try my hand at hummus having found that I already had everything in the cupboard that I needed to make some. 

I used the BBC recipe  as it only required 200g of chickpeas, the Jamie Oliver recipe required 800g... how much hummus does he need! 

A fellow tweeter recommended that I peel the chickpeas to make a smoother hummus. He noted it was painful, but worth it. It took about 25 minutes to peel one can of chickpeas. My housemates thought I had finally lost the plot. 

Another fellow tweeter recommended that I taste as I went along rather than sticking to the recipe. This tends to be how I normally cook but I took extra tastes to get it just right. A bit more tahini, a bit more cumin a bit more garlic... finally it tasted just right. I carefully placed the hummus in to ramekins and sprinkled paprika on the top as advised by the recipe. To add extra flavour I also spread on top some harrisa which was a bloody good idea as it was divine. 

I found the home made hummus to be a lot more 'nuttier' than shop bought, and for around £2 to make I had 3 large ramekins full. It's definitely worth it to make your own. If you have the time and the patience that is. 

Meat Liquor 

I adore, no LOVE, Meat Liquor's bingo wings. They are buffalo wings served with a blue cheese dip. My mouth is watering again just writing about them. I have never tried such a better wing. Therefore I am always looking for an excuse to pay a visit Meat Liquor and feast on some wings. D and I found ourselves in town mid to late week and with Thursday being the new Friday we decided to treat ourselves. 

D and I once made the mistake of ordering two portions of chips and wings between us, well I say it was mistake, we didn't waste any, we took them home in a goody bag and ate them again the next day... so not really a mistake. 

This time we just ordered the one portion and the one chips but also added some deep fried pickles to the mix too. 

I often wonder if we look a bit odd just ordering wings, but I'm so burgered out who cares! 

Next challenge: trying to replicate them at home. 

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