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A Day Out in Leeds

A few weeks ago we took a little day trip up north to Leeds. Lee & I love to explore the UK and Leeds is a city we have never really spent any time in, despite living only 30mins away in Sheffield for 8 years! Our reason for this trip was, of course, food led. We were dying to dine at The Man Behind the Curtain –  a restaurant with lots of critical acclaim recently so we duly plodded up the M1 for a couple of hours and explored the city.

First of all we headed to the Corn Exchange – a beautiful old building that over the years has been a market and is now home to lots of small outlets of all types. The domed roof is really something to behold. There’s vintage clothing, records, gifts and of course a couple of little foodie places too including a fabulous little beer shop which Lee loved.

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We then moved on to the main shopping areas, firstly the lovely arcades of the Victoria Quarter housing lots of boutiques and all the big designer names. I lingered a little too long in a few of these and almost came away with a discounted Mulberry but resisted! It was armed forces day and we also managed to almost collide with the parade!

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We took a peek in the sleek Trinity Centre, mainly to wander around the food court Trinity Kitchen with it’s resident street food vendors.

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I’ve already blogged about our fabulous lunch in another post but after this we wandered up to Millennium Square. The architecture of some of the buildings in Leeds is gorgeous. We had a quick gander in the Leeds City Museum, but didn’t have time for the Royal Armouries Museum. One for next time maybe.

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We really enjoyed Leeds. Have you ever been?  Where are your favourite hang outs?

Roz :)

kitchen bites

Kitchen Bites Edition #6

Its that time of the month again where I bring you all the news of what been passing through my kitchen the previous month. August has been particularly busy and yummy!

First up is Pomora Olive Oil, an authentic olive oil ethically produced and imported from Italy. I’ve teamed up with them to try their oils and create some recipes, the first of which was this Salt & Pepper Cod. I particularly like the Chilli Oil they have and found all the variations very good quality.

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Continue reading

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Buffalo Chicken Wings

Not long ago Travel Supermarket launched an International Street Food Challenge, inviting leading street food vendors from popular holiday destinations including France, Italy, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Spain and America to go head to head in the battle to be crowned the winner in the world’s first travel by taste agent event.

Many people enjoyed their cooking down in London on August 13th and today I can bring you one of their recipes to recreate at home- The American Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dip from the Orange Buffalo.

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WINGS

The Orange Buffalo state that Wings can be made in a number of different ways but deep frying them is the best in their book.

Simply chop the tips off  and flatten in half, this makes it much easier (and better) to eat.

Heat the oil up to 180 degrees celsius and pop the wings in  with 7-9 minutes frying time depending on how crispy you like your wings.

Serve with a buffalo hot sauce drizzled over ( I’d recommend that from the Sauce Shop!) Serve next to some chopped celery and your homemade blue cheese dip.

BLUE CHEESE DIP 

All the following ingredients need to be mixed together well and kept in the refrigerator. Use within 3days.

  • 140g blue cheese (grated or crumbled)
  • Half cup of sour cream
  • Half cup of mayonnaise
  • 4 tsp of white wine vinegar
  • 1⁄4 tsp of garlic crushed
  • 2 spring onions (chopped fine)
  • tsp of chopped chives
  • 2tsp of English mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

I left out the mustard with no detriment to the taste in my opinion

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If you fancy a holiday to one of Travel Supermarkets top street food destinations you can enter their competition here telling them all about the best street food you’ve had and why it was so memorable!

Disclosure: Travel Supermarket sent me a voucher to recreate this recipe, no other compensation was received.

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Review: Pickled Piglet Revisited

it’s been about 6 months or so since we visited the Pickled Piglet, nestled away on Gas Street in Birmingham. Since we last went they’ve had a refurbishment and it’s super lovely. The upstairs restaurant is bigger, with the bar taken out and moved downstairs, which is now more of a bar & coffee area. It’s more streamlimed, a lovely blue and grey colour scheme with some quirky features dotted about. It has a light modern and airy feel about it and it’s much improved from before.

We went for a late brunch/light lunch one Saturday and although quiet when we arrived, it soon got busier. The service was very friendly, as it has always been and we felt right at home.

At that time on a Saturday they offer their brunch menu, where you can pick from small plates, deli boards or some larger plates or there’s also their seasonal set price menu – 2 small plates and a light main for £10. We thought the latter sounded exceptional value. The small plates are almost like tapas so you could purely order a lot of these if you wanted and have a Deli feast.

I started with a Pimms Royale – made with prosecco which was very refreshing and totally moreish!

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For our small plates from the seasonal menu we chose

  • Foccacia
  • Ham Hock & Pickles
  • Salami & Potato Croquettes
  • Pork & Port Paté

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These little dishes were right up my street. You could easily see and taste the freshness, and see the care that had gone into them. The flavours were all spot on. My only quibble was that the paté was a little soft, almost liquid like infact, but it still tasted great.

Next up I chose Pea Potato & Mint Frittata, Baby Leaf Salad & Aoili. This was a perfect summery dish for me – the frittata was really well cooked and the mint through it was a beautiful flavour. The garlicky aioli really brought the whole dish together. Lee chose the Cider Glazed Ham, Crushed Potatoes & Fried Egg. This was a hearty brunch dish but a perfect size and all cooked really well.

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We decided on some dessert as well, some cheese for Lee and a Passion Fruit, Coconut and Meringue concoction for me. They really hit the nail on the head for me with the dessert – layers of slightly sharp passionfruit cream, with creamy coconut and wafer thin puff pastry and topped with sweet chewy meringue and passionfruit coulis.

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We really enjoyed our revisit to the Pickled Piglet; the experience was relaxing & the food was unpretentious and tasty. A lovely independent in Birmingham.

www.pickledpiglet.co.uk

Disclosure: We paid in full for our meal

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Spicy Pickled Vegetables

I always find it interesting how people describe themselves as ‘having a sweet tooth’ or ‘a salty palate’ or preferring savoury foods. I guess its to do with how your tastebuds are geared up on your tongue and which are more dominant. I’m never sure what category I fall into, but I do know that I love sharp flavours – tangy, sour, vinegary thats my bag. It will be no surprise then in that case that I love anything that is pickled.

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Pickling things my self is not something I’ve ever really tried until the last few years, but its so easy to do. This year particularly with a glut of various vegetables growing in the garden it’s a brilliant way to preserve any excess so that they don’t perish.

A basic pickling mix would be vinegar and sugar, but the addition of spices in various combinations and quantities can really add another dimension. The recipe below is my favourite pickling one – adding a bit of heat to the equation.  Obviously you can change the quantities of the pickling liquor if you have very large or smaller amounts. This quantity will be fine for about 200-400g vegetables.

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Ingredients

Vegetables – your choice really. In this recipe we used cauliflower, shallot, carrot, thin green chillies and radish. Other options would be things like baby onions, beetroot, cucumber, courgette, cabbage.  Cut them into ribbons, thin slices or small florets

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  • 300ml white wine vinegar
  • 200 ml  apple cider vinegar
  • 50ml water
  • 150g caster or golden caster sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 clove
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1-2 dried red chillies

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Method

  1. Put the sugar, water, vinegar and spices in a saucepan on a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add in the vegetables and bring to the boil. Take of the heat and leave to cool slightly in the pan
  3. Tip the vegetables into sterilised jars and top with the pickling liquid so they are covered. This way they will keep in the fridge for several weeks.

Happy pickling :)

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If you fancy your hand at pickling something check out these other options too!

Hot Mexican Pickles from Supper in the Suburbs

Hot Chilli & Ginger Pickle from Kavey Eats

Quick Pickled Lemons from Recipes from a Pantry

Spicy Fermented Carrot Salad from Natural Kitchen Adventures

Buffet Pickles from the Crafty Larder