Foodie week-end

We had a very special guest this week-end, and we decided to treat her like she deserves: sharing with her our favourite food and food places. I might write in more detail about some of these, but for now, here is the summary:

On Friday, we had some simple bollit for dinner, with olive oil and sauerkraut. So soothing after our friend’s travel, and in general, after the day had been so gloomy and miserable.

Saturday started with a “tropical” porridge for breakfast: banana, mango, coconut, chia seeds; as well as freshly ground and brewed Square Mile coffee (in a cafetière, if you were curious).

Oranges and clementines
Oranges and clementines

Then we headed off to Spa Terminus Market, a place where you can actually buy food, not fight tourists to get to the shops. It is one of my favourite places to go.

Swiss cheeses
Swiss cheeses

We came back loaded with great produce of all sorts: vegetables, sauerkraut, kefir, cheeses, sweets, beers, mushrooms…

Back home and after doing some errands we started feeling hungry with all the walking and tubing, so we popped by the gorgeous Honey & Spice deli to get some lunch to go. It’s such a pretty place and the food is so wonderful!

Honey & Spice
Honey & Spice

I then fed my babies… i.e. my sourdough starters (I have been developing two in parallel using different recipes, to decide which one works best) before we began preparing dinner.

Feeding sourdough starters
Feeding sourdough starters

We had decided to host a dinner party instead of going to a restaurant. Each one of us contributed something and all together we ended up with a great menu:

  • STARTERS
    • Swiss cheeses (three types)
    • Butter
    • Home made sourdough and caraway seeds breads
  • MAINS
    • mango, pepper and paneer kebabs
    • kale mallum
    • moong dal tarka
    • basmati rice
    • yoghurt with cucumber
  • DRINKS
    • Brazin Zinfandel (California), a red wine “to cosy up in front of the fireplace”. Berry notes, sweet.
    • Greywacke (New Zealand), a white wine which stood up to the fiery chillis.
    • And an IPA while we waited for our dearest sommelier to arrive (with the wine!) 😂
    • Also water, from the tap.
  • DESSERT
    • Berry tart
    • Chocolate tart
Cheese starters with home made breads
Starters: Swiss cheeses with home made breads
Sourdough and caraway seeds home made breads
Sourdough and caraway seeds home made breads

It was a bit funny to cook Indian food for the mains because neither me or my partner (self-declared sous-chef) are Indian, but turns out if you follow a good recipe well, and have a minimum sense of how things should taste, you can produce really decent food, and our Asian friend confirmed it tasted as it should! And it was all vegetarian, as is our very special guest.

Indian feast
Indian feast

We spent about an hour and a half slicing vegetables, grinding spices, and cooking things, and the whole place was quite steamy and we had to open windows and all (even with the fan extractor on), but it was worth it! Everyone enjoyed themselves and there was very little food left (specially considering the amount of food there was!).

It was fantastic to be able to feed all these people and see their enjoyment in the food we prepared 😃

On Sunday we simply had some more of the bread toasted and with some butter for breakfast, this time with some Cracking Cups of Tea brewed by my very English partner.

Right after that, I started mixing dough for my second sourdough bread, using the second starter which looked like it was ready to be used, and after a couple of knead + rest periods we left the house.

We walked around the neighbourhood, enjoying the fresh autumn air (but not the cold wind), and did some more errands. And then it was time to cook a beautiful and deliciously nourishing rice with (rainbow) Swiss chard for lunch.

Rice with chard
Rice with chard

Later on, time to turn the oven on and bake the bread. It had been proving for more than 4 hours and didn’t seem to have raised much, so I was a bit skeptical that it’d go well, but it happened to be really great, despite the shape being a bit wonky. It’s artisanal 😜

Sourdough bread
Sourdough bread
Sourdough bread
Sourdough bread

And chewy! My first chewy bread! I’m very excited.

And we finished with pan fried mushrooms with a touch of truffle oil and scrambled eggs for dinner. We had bought a box of assorted mushrooms and this was so tasty, ahhh! I can’t think of better ways to end a week! 😄

Pan fried mixed mushrooms
Pan fried mixed mushrooms

They don’t look “pretty” but they were so yummy, just thinking about them makes me hungry 😋

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