Saturday, 25 February 2012


So we went for a trip to some friends in Vienna, Austria and had a great time. One of the meals we were served was with some local sausages - a Wurst of some sort...which was superb!

And the the local supermarket we trekked so I could bring some back.

These were the local Viennese Frankfurters I believe...

I also bought some of the local mustard (but to be honest I prefer a good dollop of English or French)

Split the ends - for a real genuine experience.

Rather nice

Nope - bloody fantastic

And served with Sauerkraut that I found right at the back of the store cupboard (2005 vintage!!). Absolutely fine - I love it

And so to the next set...about a week later

What a lovely sight

Perfect sausages, mash and mustard - a great meal

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Lamb Kebab

I am getting increasing interested in Turkish food. It seems to me there is a great deal we don't really know about what seems to be a very interesting mix of east/west. So, after watching Anthony Boudain in Istanbul the other day - I had to cook something this weekend. I suppose slightly disappointingly I went for Kebab....but I certainly wasn't disappointed.

I have a great book on Turkish Cooking and indeed - if you click the link you'll see the front cover is the meal I was attempting.

Only a few major ingredients - a good start

I need to get some of those very flat skewers

Unfortunately it was simply too wet for the outside BBQ :o(

However - they turned out superb

Served on a bed of fried pita, fresh tomato juice and yogurt. Lovely...

...if not a bit turd like !

Monday, 13 February 2012

Chicken Yakatori

Great little one this. I was on the way home trying to think of something simple yet interesting and flavorsome. Bingo!

Japanese sauces can be quite simple - Saki Mirin and Soya can make something quite divine

We had some left over - they were fantastic

Grilled with the sauce

And served with sesame spinach. Yum

Monday, 6 February 2012

Monday night risotto

What's in the larder.....?

I believe the idea of a good risotto is to 'fry' the rice in butter. OK - let's give that a go...

And just as important: let the rice drink a good slug of wine before the stock

Mucho stiring

Is it done yet?

Not three bad !

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Smoked Balinese Duck

I didn't watch Rick Stein's Fast Eastern Odessey. To be honest I'd got a bit fed up with him.

However, I got the cookbook for Christmas - and it is superb. I shall be cooking a lot from it - basically because it's not the 'usual suspects' - as I shall demonstrate....

This one caught my eye as I was reading through - and when we had a diner party with some new frfiends I thought why not...

I'd already bought some Candle nuts - so it was good to be able to use them as part of the paste

Now the duck needed to be lightly smoked. The recipe suggested smoking in a wok - and I had some woodchips..........

Hmm....That's a lot of smoke...

OK - so after about 10 minutes I needed to take the duck outside !

It turns out that wok based duck smoking should only be tried if you live in a Chinese country house (i.e. no windows and lots of drafts)! My house still stinks (not in best books)...

looks damn good though !

And now for the next strange step. Duck, paste and water in a roasting bag. This needed a trip to Asda - who ever uses a roasting bag, and why ?

After about 4 hours slow and low

And the result...

Not that impressed. It was a real mess to serve. The slow and low worked very well - but meant there was not chance of 'carving' the meat off - the duck simply fell apart. OK - but somehow not so cool for the diner party - lots of little bones etc etc. I think I may have also over smoked the duck - it was quite a powerful flavor, and the rest of the Balinese paste didn't shine through. Oh well. You win some - you lose some.

Also did a coconut salad

And some sweet shiitake mushrooms