Sunday, 17 May 2009

Gelato in the Park

Brockwell Park

What is sunny weather without ice-cream? In British terms this could really be at any time and not necessarily during summer either. During one of the odd spells of April sunshine, Stuart and I managed to drag ourselves to the park and discovered, to my delight, that the park cafe had started selling gelato.

Gelato - Brockwell Park, Tulse Hill

I just had to have a scoop of bacio - chocolate and hazelnut. I adore hazelnuts! And I love chocolate too.

Bacio - Brockwell Park, Tulse Hill

Ahh bacio is certainly a flavour made in heaven.

Strawberry - Brockwell Park, Tulse Hill

Stuart had a scoop of strawberry which came delightfully with large chunks of strawberries swirled throughout . Much to my irritation his was actually better than mine. Lighter on the tummy too considering we just had a huge feast at a newly found Portuguese cafe (more on that later). I did end up eating quite a bit of his and he was handed the remainder of mine :D One just has to learn to be very persuasive lol

Friday, 8 May 2009

Comfort Eating

It's been a long few weeks. Far too many hours at work, followed by a frighteningly high number of after work/weekend drinks ... too many. A diet of take-out salads, sandwiches and vodka tonics are all good and well but after a while all the body and soul wants is some good, old fashioned comfort food. Far too tired and to late to pull together an elaborately heart warming dish (I've been craving braised pork belly with preserved vegetable for far too long now ...) I made this quick mince and bean stew served with rice and a fried egg after work one day. Tried and tested flavours, there was no way it could go wrong.

Mince and Beans with a Fried Egg on Steamed Rice

I remember having a version of this whenever I went to stay with my paternal grandmother when I was a child. Unlike most grandmothers, my mama wasn't known for her cooking skills. She was a far more gregarious creature who preferred to stay out of the kitchen and had a fondness for mahjong (something of which I think both my sister and I have inherited). Mama did, however, live with her best friend who did all the cooking for her own rather large family. This dish is in fact a tribute (rip off?) to Ying Yee Por.

Mince and Beans with a Fried Egg on Steamed Rice

Mince and Bean Stew with Rice and Fried Egg

250g of mince (preferably pork but I used turkey this time as I couldn't find any pork mince at the supermarket)
Minced garlic (to your hearts content but I stuck to about 2 cloves or the equivalent - I was a bit lazy so I used garlic powder)
1 tin baked beans
Eggs (depending on how many people there are to feed and the size of their appetites)
Splash of soy sauce
White pepper
Steamed rice to serve
  • Heat some oil in wok on medium-high heat until it steams lightly. Add the mince in and brown evenly.If there is too much liquid released from the meat, drain it off in a sieve. This ensures that the meat browns and doesn't steam and simmer in its own juices.
  • When the meat is lightly browned, add the garlic. Fry until you can smell the lovely garlicky-ness. Make sure you don't burn the garlic though.
  • Pour in the tin of beans and mix with the meat. Release the remaining bit of tomato sauce and beans from the bottom by swirling half a tins worth of water around the tin and pouring it all into the wok.
  • Just as the meat and beans begin to bubble, lower the heat. Flavour the dish with a few splashes of soy sauce and a sprinkling of white pepper.
  • Heat frying pan with a little oil. Break in an egg and spoon over the hot oil to help cook the top. It is ready to serve when the edges of the egg are crispy and the egg yoke still bright yellow and wobbly.
  • Serve the meat and beans with steamed rice and the fried egg. I like my fried eggs served with white pepper and a few dashes of Maggie sauce (affectionately known as ti-ti-ti in our household, origins very likely long forgotten).