Posts Tagged ‘truffle’

Truffle. By Taylor Swift.

Do you know what I noticed the other day? You know that song by Taylor Swift which, embarrassingly enough, I loved? It’s called Trouble. Well, I noticed yesterday, that the song is immeasurably improved by simply changing the word Trouble to Truffle, throughout. 

 

Have a listen and follow the lyrics. I have changed some other stuff too, for fun. Don’t expect it to make sense.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNoKguSdy4Y

 

There’s some nonsense adverts at the beginning then some chitchat. Boooooooring. Skip to 2:02.

Once upon a time
A few dinners ago
I was in the kitchen
You got me alone
You found me, you found me, you found me

I guess you didn’t know
That I would get obsessed
And when I fell hard
You took a step in
The saucepan, the saucepan, the saucepa-a-a-a-an.

And he’s baking
When the oven’s on
And I realize the truffle’s on me

Cause I knew you were truffle when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to tastes I had never had
Till you put me down, oh
I knew you were truffle when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to tastes I had never had
Now I’m lying on the cold hard ground
Oh, oh, truffle, truffle, truffle
Oh, oh, truffle, truffle, truffle

No apologies
He’ll never see you eat
Pretend he doesn’t know
That he’s the reason why
You’re eating, the truffles, you’re eating

And I heard you moved on
From truffles on the plate
A new lunch in your day
Is all I’ll ever be
And now I see, now I see, now I see
He was hungry
When he met me
And I realize the truffle’s on me

I knew you were truffle when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to tastes I had never had
Till you put me down, oh
I knew you were truffle when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to tastes I had never had,
Now I’m lying on the cold hard ground
Oh, oh, truffle, truffle, truffle
Oh, oh, truffle, truffle, truffle

And the saddest fear comes creeping in,
That you ate all of,

The truffles,

From the fridge,

And in the kitchen, yeah

I knew you were truffle when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to tastes I had never had
Till you put me down, oh
I knew you were truffle when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to tastes I had never had
Now I’m lying on the cold hard ground
Oh, oh, truffle, truffle, truffle
Oh, oh, truffle, truffle, truffle

I knew you were truffle when you walked in
Truffle, truffle, truffle
I knew you were truffle when you walked in
Truffle, truffle, truffle!

Madame Forager and friends survive the mushrooms!

Ok, guys. Let’s get to it. It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

The unveiling of the first harvest of my home grown mushrooms.

Let me remind you how they looked on Tuesday morning.

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And this is how they looked on Tuesday evening.

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I cut the biggest ones, split them in half and threw in a few shitake mushrooms I found in the fridge to bulk it up a little as there were five hungry mouths to feed. I fried them for about five minutes in a little bit of truffle butter and a splash of olive oil, until they had softened and started to sizzle. I fried for a few seconds longer then sprinkled a little truffle salt over to serve.

As there were only a few of the mushrooms, I didn’t want them to get lost in a bigger dish of vegetables so we had pea and mint soup to start, then the mushrooms were like a little post-soup novelty feature – just a small bite, given a space of it’s own in the evening’s dining. We all ummed and ahhed and made the appropriate noises to make sure all the weeks of growing had been worth it. And they were actually tasty (helped by the hints of truffly goodness). 

Then we had our main meal, a parmigiana with loads of greens on the side. More umming and ahhing and my self esteem shot through the roof. For, as I have previously mentioned (and anyone who loves cooking for and feeding others knows), it’s the praise for our food that makes us feel it is also praise for us. We feel loved when someone compliments our courgettes or enthuses about our endive.

All in all, it was a successful evening and a successful mushroom course, I’d say.

And no-one got mushroom poisoning (unlike the woman who picked some mushrooms from her garden to add to a can of mushroom soup and died).

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Well, that’s me for today. I’m off to Ham House in a mo to get my 17th century scullery maid groove on.

R is for…

R&R!

That’s right. Danda and I are leaving these wintery shores (well, not exactly wintery, it’s quite nice and sunny in England now) for warmer climes abroad (my weather app says there’ll be cloud but I’m hoping otherwise).

Yes, we’re off to Italy. To the beautiful island of Capri. To the coast. To the sea. To the pizzas of Naples. To the ash-preserved ruins of Pompeii. To the volcanic heights of Vesuvius. To the colossal sights of Capua. To the porcini mushrooms and fresh asparagus of the street markets. To the truffle laden plates of pasta. To the bowls piled high with homemade icecream. To the strong palate-cleansing espressos. To the mountains and the blue skies and bays of the Amalfi coast.

Off we go! Here’s hoping my phone works over there!

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Search terms 7

You can never have too many of these posts, I feel. The wierd and wonderful world of search terms never fails to keep me entertained.

I’m especially glad that the person searching for PJ and Duncan arrived here, less so about the person looking up a certain type of person from Cockermouth….

woolton quarry tunnel entrance
swim gods
high street highgate pharmacy coleridge
george michael address highgate
cooking mahi mahi waitrose
longitude of arnamurchan point
george michael highgate address
lazylauramaisey
bognor regis 2p machine
what album did karen carpenter do
buses stop gavestone
why do i say things twice
donald duck dog truffle
kingston rejected me
henry neumann salt miner northwich
king richard iii big yellow taxi
loose women photos an captions kingston university interview experience
kate moss highgate grove
why is queen’s wood in highgate so dark
coffee-traffle butter
my first bikram class
portmanteau sanskrit words example
hairy girls au naturel
phrase “can i have a word”
slags from cockermouth
pj & duncan songs wrapping
tomtom saltside-admin
asparagus disease
old age hobbies
how does the salt museum in northwich operate
girelephant the croods
confit rabbit roux
dying duvet cover indoors
anderton boat lift old pics
kate moss highgate
steps on how to build a igloo out of snow
contested subcontinental atea
all about being sporty
truffle pasta nottingham
rock salt museum in northwich
+transvestite captions
the grove highgate history
hide and seek playroom
did jim morrison visit glastonbury
books you don’t want to end
one direction diffrent sunglasess
هرام ينسيكادنادينوت strawberry field woolton
does du cane court look like a swastika
“evening in venice” face cream
store wellingtons upside down
freehold covenants revision
“sandy denny” cadences
michel roux confit rabbit
audrey hepburn swimming in the tiburn
do all race walkers cheat
worst landlord ever
what does the wich mean in northwich
photographs of cyclist falling off bike
aldous huxley supermarket
ex-unitate curaque fortior

An evening in Venice

Well, not exactly. But it sounded good, didn’t it? Did you think I was about to tell you that I’d gone all the way to Venice just for the evening?…. Ah, if only.

What actually happened was that I went to Covent Garden, to a restaurant called Polpo. Now, the more astute amongst you will be thinking, I’ve heard that name before, didn’t she mention that a while ago?

Well, yes I did. To celebrate having done 200 posts, I cooked a big Italian feast with all the recipes taken from Polpo’s cookbook which, by the way, is the most beautiful cookbook I have ever seen and the recipes are so simple, only about four ingredients in most things, but so delicious. Since having the cookbook, I have been meaning to go to the restaurant. Finally, last night, my friend and I decided it was time to go.

After a bit of faffing around in Hammersmith station trying to get onto the same platform and figure out which train to get and then walking an extremely long way around, we made it to the restaurant. It was long and thin and in the middle, there was a bar where people perched, with plates of different cicheti (which, I think, means starters) nibbling and chitchatting on tall stools. Behind this, was an area with lots of small tables. We were seated against the back wall by a lady who’s smile remained in place all night, despite my requests for recipes from the kitchen, which must have been a bit annoying and slowed her down.

The menu was a paper place mat and I recognised so much of it from the cookbook that I already felt like I was in a familiar place. The Smiths and Goldfrapp played somewhere in the distance and gave me a good feeling about the evening.

We ordered four small plates of food to share for our starters and mains and, unfortunately, my photographs came out either too dark to see or lurid yellowy from my flash. So just bear with the bad lighting on these photos please.

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An aubergine and parmesan wrap

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Spicy pork and fennel meatballs (these were really good)

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Flank steak with rocket and white truffle cream (this was the recipe I requested from the waitress, it was lovely)

We also had a bruscetta with ricotta, proscuitto and artichoke which we stuffed in our faces so fast that I forgot to photograph it. It was really really good though. Maybe my favourite thing, along with the steak and truffle cream.

For desert, I had a panna cotta with rhubarb and pistachio…

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… and my friend had a tiramisu.

Both were tasty and served in a small glass, so just the right size after all the other bits had filled us up. My only sticking point with my panna cotta was that I had a small teaspoon when I really wanted a huge soup spoon, to be able to eat it faster. I also had an alfogato di caffe (I think I’ve spelt that wrong), which is an espresso with a ball of vanilla ice cream in it. It’s a very Venetian thing, apparently. So I got one, in my ongoing attempt to become an Italian coffee-lover. I was unsure whether I was supposed to drink the espresso then eat the ice cream afterward or wait for the ice cream to melt, therefore sweetening the coffee then eat the whole thing with a spoon. I went for a bit of both but I’ve definitely got quite a way to go before mastering the technique. When I go to Venice (one day) I will make sure I have it sorted.

Afterward, we got something called chocolate salami, which I have made before at home. It was tasty when I made it so we ordered some of that as well as all the other things we were having for desert.

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It is essentially a fridge set chocolate biscuit, with lots of things crushed up and mixed into it. It was quite a bit saltier than mine, so was slightly at odds with where we were in our meal. We were on sweet and we were happy there. Then suddenly salty came along. It was nice but probably needed something else with it. It would have been nice dipped in coffee, to warm it slightly and make the chocolate a bit melty and added a little edge to it with the coffee taste. Well, anyway, I know for next time.

All in all, we were very happy with this trip. It also wasn’t that expensive, given how many different things we ate. I was pleased to see that the fame from the book hadn’t turned them into an expensive once-a-year type of place.

The people at the next table started chatting to us at one point about what the chocolate salami was and what we had eaten and what we recommended for deserts. It’s nice that way. It has an informal feel to it. The waitress checked in on us regularly, was happy to get into conversation about the truffle cream and how great the cookbook was. And the high seats at the bar, where people ate small plates of antipasti with glasses of wine or vin santo, were constantly full. I imagine it’s an ideal place to perch if you’re dining alone or just looking for something small and tasty after a long day at work. Very nice indeed.

Thumbs up for Polpo, just how I wanted it to be after loving the cookbook so much.

Midday in Paris

So yesterday, if you remember, I was swanning off to Paris for lunch. There wasn’t any real reason for it. Everyone was just being really January-ish. You know, ‘what is there to look forward to now that Christmas is over,’ and ‘it’s so cold and miserable’ etc etc. Now I don’t get too bothered by January. I like cold weather as I feel quite uncomfortable and sweaty in heat. So snow suits me down to the ground. Plus it’s good fun. I also didn’t have ‘a terrible year that I’m trying to move on from’, or need to ‘make a new start’ etc etc. All in all, I feel ok in January. As though to prove this point, I determined to have a January filled with fun. I have seen friends I don’t see often, taken lots of long walks and become dedicated to my Michel Roux cookbook in my Masterchef dreams.

In light of all this (and a deal on the Eurostar), I decided to go to Paris for the day. My manager had highly recommended a restaurant for lunch so it was sorted. The train journey there was fairly nondescript, apart from coming out of the Eurotunnel on the French side and being greeted by a sea of white…

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It was beautiful. It was a crisp cold day and the snow sat on everything in sight. It was still there when we came past again going home, the cold weather preventing any snow from melting.

We hopped off the train at midday, our minds boggled by the fact that we were now in France. It seemed silly, so easy and effortless. Get on the train in London. Get off it in Paris.

We had bought tickets for the metro on the Eurostar train so we just found our way downstairs and got on the underground, no fuss. When we got off to switch trains, however, there was a policeman shouting something at everyone on the platform about the ‘sortie’ – exit. We asked him what was the problem and he said there was a ‘suspicious bag’ so everyone must leave the station.

Welcome to Paris. You’re about to get blown up.

Optimistically, we looked at our map of Paris and concluded that it would only be about 15 minutes to walk the five stops to the restaurant so we set off along the river.

Let me just say this – it did not only take 15 minutes and, despite the freezing weather, we arrived three minutes late, out of breath and quite warm!

The restaurant itself looks unassuming….

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…but inside has the lively fun atmosphere typical of a French restaurant. Four men discussed business loudly in the corner, a large family chattered happily, laughing when one of the teenagers looked suspiciously at the food they had been served, a group of Japanese tourists next to us photographed everything excitedly.

And us? We watched. We watched everything. We watched the kitchen.

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We watched the food going to the tables. We watched the animated waiters telling their little jokes as they rushed about. And we loved it. It was such a fabulous little place to tuck into a corner and watch Parisian life happening.

And we ate. Of course we ate. We chose the tasting menu and prepared to eat whatever the chef was cooking that day. We started with a cauliflower and fish soup, which was definitely a highlight of the whole meal.

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We then had a beef tartate, with oyster, shrimps and radish.

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We moved onto mackerel with white beans and a green salad foam.

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Next up was a rich slow-cooked beef dish with a carrot soup.

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We were then given a dish to share, which looked like short pieces of pasta dressed with chilli oil. We looked closer and realised that, actually, we were eating baby eels! They were way tasty.

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Then it was onto another hearty French dish, a small rack of lamb with pomme puree. This was the best of the mains we had.

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It was then time for dessert, which blew our minds. We were presented with a huge bowl of rice pudding and two smaller bowls, one with salted caramel and one with caramelised walnuts and almonds, to put as much as we wanted of each in our bowls.

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Midway through this delightful bowl, small glasses of lemon sorbet and mango were put next to us, so that we hardly know where to start.

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It was dessert heaven.

After this onslaught of foodie indulgence, we paid and emerged into the sunlight, three hours later and thirty stone heavier. As we wandered along, carefree and a little cold, I saw it….

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A TRUFFLE SHOP! A shop. Full of truffles. The most truffley things I’ve ever seen in one place. It blew my mind. Danda took a seat and left me to it in the end. They had truffle pesto, truffle pasta sauces, truffle aperitif, truffle flavoured chocolate drinks and (this one floored me), truffle popcorn!
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I purchased some truffle honey and a truffle pasta sauce and of course a bag, to carry things in and pretend it’s a bag of truffles.

By this time it was late afternoon and we had wanted to catch Notre Dame in the fading light so we walked back the way we had come and found our way to the cathedral.

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It’s so massive that it’s almost impossible to get the whole place into one picture. We wandered in and took a seat. Suddenly the excitement of the day gave way to a moment of tiredness and we had a sneaky little nap under the colourful mosaic windows and beautiful chandeliers.

After realising we must have looked like homeless people, we pottered off to make our way to the station for our train home. We still had two hours so we dawdled along the river and stopped off if we wanted to.

We came unexpectedly across the Pompadou Centre and went inside to look at the bookshop. There was a coffee shop so we sat for coffee and I bought some little cakes. They weren’t quite the beautiful petits fours and delicate macaroons I had been envisioning for the afternoon coffee stop but the centre itself was lovely so we sacrificed taste for ambience.

With an hour until our train, we kept going and reached the station twenty minutes early.

We then had a second dose of wierdness when we boarded the train in Paris, got off it in London and went back home to have a cup of tea on the sofa and watch an episode of Family Guy.

A review of recent truffle products

My adventures in the land of truffles began just four months ago after an encounter with this amazing truffle butter

Truffle butter

It’s the type of thing that, at room temperature, you could eat in one go, with some breadsticks and/or some thin crackers. It’s a dangerous thing to have in the fridge, due to the desire to just eat it in one go. Now I’m not a health expert or anything but I think that eating sticks of butter isn’t really recommended. But once you peel back the pack and catch a whiff of its truffley goodness, you become helpless.

My next encounter was with truffle honey, which I was initially puzzled by. I liked it but had no idea what to do with it. Then someone told me to drizzle it over homemade pizzas and it was brilliant! When figs were in season and dirt cheap at Waitrose, I would bake entire trays of them on a really low heat for 4 hours, drizzled with truffle honey, orange zest and grated nutmeg. Mm mm.

I then discovered truffle pasta. I tried a few different brands but this one was my favourite as it was nice and thin and the taste strong enough to carry a meal without too much help.

Truffle pasta

It was like the most gourmet meal ever to cook the pasta and toss it with some sauteed oyster mushrooms then finish it with a tartufo formaggio cream by a company called Vallebona. So simple but so so tasty.

Next, someone bought me some truffle salt.

Truffle salt

I didn’t want to just throw it into anything, the way I would with normal salt. So I made a foccaccia bread in which I used a bit of the truffle butter in the dough. When oiling the pan I baked it in, I used truffle oil. When sprinkling the bread with chilli flakes I also added the truffle salt. When baked, I sprinkled a little more truffle salt on and let it cool. And it was phenomenal! It was easily the best bread I’ve ever eaten.

My next truffle product was truffle oil.

Truffle oil

The white is more delicate than the black so is good for finishing things with, like a homemade pizza or a risotto. The black truffle oil works well in a homemade pesto, with pecorino, pine nuts and tons of basil.

Next, a friend brought back some truffle breadsticks from Paris and I scoffed them in one go! They were great, especially with a little knob of truffle butter on the end.

Truffle breadsticks

The next encounter was extremely unexpected. Out for Christmas drinks with work, we decided to get a few platters to all pick at as no-one felt like an entire meal of their own. The vegetarian platter was near me so I grabbed a pita and dug into the houmous….. And I could taste truffle! I checked with the waitress and she confirmed that it was truffle houmous. Truffle houmous! It was phenomenal. I haven’t found it to buy anywhere. If you see any, you have to buy it. It’s amazing.

Truffle houmous

Lastly, yesterday, while in Nottingham with a friend, we wandered into a deli and found black truffle pecorino! I ate almost the whole block by itself on the train ride home!

Truffle cheese