Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Kimchi a la Vadasz Deli

Kimchi ingredients all lined up and ready for chop, chop, chopping! You can mix and match the root veg- I went for radish and orange and yellow carrots.

As part of the recent House of Ferment installation at Borough Market, I was commissioned to make and photograph Kimchi, a Korean fermented pickle, according to the Vadasz Deli recipe (http://vadaszdeli.co.uk/). Vadasz Deli is one of the newer traders at Borough Market, and sells a range of pickles and relishes. It's definitely worth a visit if your passing- my favourite is the fennel pickle, give it a try!

Kimchi, I discovered, is actually surprisingly simple to make- it involves a lot of chopping, mixing and fermenting, and that's about it. Below are the photographs I took of the process. I had a lot of fun with this one, and am looking forward to trying my creation (it's still fermenting), if a little terrified too....I'm pretty sure it's going to blow my head off, I was fairly generous with the Korean red pepper! For the full recipe, have a look here: http://boroughmarket.org.uk/traditional-kimchi  & here for more pictures, and step by step instructions http://blog.boroughmarket.org.uk/?p=10187

Crush the garlic, ginger and Korean red pepper in a pestle and mortar

Slice your root veggies nice 'n' fine. 

Salt the veggies- according to Nick Vadasz (brains behind Vadasz Deli) they should taste just a little too salty.

Mix it all up......

Leave to ferment.... (there's a knack to all this, see the full recipe here: http://boroughmarket.org.uk/traditional-kimchi )

It will look a tiny bit like some slightly terrifying science project at this stage...

I have no idea what I'm going to do with the final Kimchi product (it's just about ready to eat!), but I am planning on testing out a few recipes with it which I will post on here, so stay tuned for them. Or if you have any great kimchi-related recipes yourselves that you can share with me please comment below!

If you can't be bothered with the hassle of making your own kimchi, this stuff is the real deal. 

Sunday, 9 August 2015

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Pizza East Portobello- A light lunch.....

I was recently very excited to be invited to sample the new summer menu at Pizza East's brand spanking new restaurant in Portobello with a number of other fellow food bloggers. It's a hard life but someone has to do it...

We dined on the beautiful terrace, which I believe you can hire out for private dining (get in touch with them direct for queries: http://www.pizzaeast.com/portobello). It's the most magical little space, surrounded by trellis and flowering jasmine. I can't think of anywhere more lovely to share an informal lunch or dinner with friends.

We kicked off with cocktails galore- a cooling Eastern standard with Bombay Sapphire, cucumber and mint to start me off, followed by a zesty, refreshing, Aperol Twist.

Aperol Twist, don't mind if I do.

Then onto the food. We were presented with numerous little plates of antipasti, marinated olives & marcona almonds, a pretty little summery plate of seabass carpaccio with baby fennel and chilli which matched its appearance in taste, and a delightful plate of baby beets, with caprino fresco. This summery spread went some way in making me feel ever so slightly like I was no longer in grey old London, but on holiday somewhere in the med.

Good spread.

Can't go too far wrong with charcuterie, bread and pickles.

We also sampled a fresh and healthy tasting (in a good way) salad of smoked trout with mixed grains, pea shoots and mint, and an aubergine dish with tomato, oregano and pine nuts. I'm a sucker for anything aubergine, so this for me was a winner. If this is all sounding a little too healthy for your liking, we also had the garlic bread, which was a real show stopper, pimped out with masses of herby garlic butter, and the pork belly, which is definitely one for pork lovers, with some good crackling. On top of this were some rustic boards of charcuterie- wafer thin prosciutto, along with a creamy and luxurious burrata. All in all, things were looking up.

Good old aubergine, I'll never tire of it. Loved this dish.

One for the meat lovers- wood oven baked crispy pork belly.

When it came to ordering pizza (well we had to really) we went for a margarita (the sign of a good pizza restaurant is a good margarita- this one didn't disappoint), a veal meatball, prosciutto sage and cream pizza, a courgette, caprino, majoram & cream, and a salami, tomato and mozzarella to share, along with a mac & cheese. All pizzas were moreish, crisp and evenly baked, and well worth the dip in energy levels I suffered at work a few hours later, after this absolute carb-fest.

Courgette, caprino, majoram and cream pizza won me over.

Living the Italian dream on a dreary London day.

Mac 'n; cheese

By the time we had finished this little lot, we were well and truly stuffed, and as it was a Wednesday afternoon, work was sadly calling me, so I had to decline pudding and a glass of prosecco (for the first time ever perhaps) and roll my way back to work.

I thoroughly enjoyed my meal at Pizza East, and would recommend it for anything from a light lunch, through to a great evening meal out (the cocktail list is a winner!). There's surely something for everyone at Pizza East- pizza fans, meat lovers and healthy eaters alike. I love it, because you know exactly what you're getting with it and it's not going to disappoint, or break the bank. It's down to earth, plus the staff were lovely and the ambiance of the Portobello branch is really cosy. I'm now looking forward to re-visiting in winter, as I reckon it'll be lovely with the wood fired pizza ovens built in at the back of the restaurant keeping you warm.

Thank you Pizza East for a great lunch. I'll be back soon!