London: meat and bone marrow at Pitt Cue

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London restaurants. There are seriously too many to visit, unless you’re a food critic, which sadly I’m not.

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I have so many restaurants on my list to try and it pains me when they close before I got to them. This happened with the very talked about Pitt Cue Co who brought BBQ to Soho back in the day.

But luckily they didn’t close for good, they opened a restaurant further east instead. One where you can book a table – which made it so much easier to go!

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The Soho restaurant was tiny and always had a long queue, which was the main reason I never went. I tried so many times but the waiting time was always around 2 hrs and that’s just too long when you’re hungry.

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The menu here looked great so it was rather tricky to decide on what to order, but I think we did a good job of it! Laura had the grilled aubergine with wild rice and almonds.

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And as you can see, she was very happy with it! Lovely dish!

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For me, the words ‘bone marrow’ jumped out at me and I just had to order the grilled sourdough and bone marrow.

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Look at that beauty! It was just gorgeous; pillowy, salty and full of flavour. Yum!

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For the main course Laura had the Aylesbury duck breast (cooked to perfection) with pickled endive and jus.

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I had the onglet with marinated tomato and it was just perfect! Love this cut of meat! It has so much flavour but is really tender at the same time.

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We also had some sweet potato to share, but half way through my steak I so regretted not ordering the bone marrow mash. (Mainly because I had already had the sourdough with bone marrow, but honestly that’s a silly reason when the food is this good. As somebody once said; you only regret the food you didn’t eat. So true!) So I gave in and ordered it and it was probably my best decision, like, ever. This mash (actually it’s more like a silky cloud of potato purée) is just heaven. The bone marrow on top is to-die-for delicious and I would have been so happy with just this for dinner (although the rest was delicious too!).

Moral of the story; do not not order a dish because you’re trying to be good or think there is such a thing as too much bone marrow. Order, eat and enjoy it and have salad the next day to balance it out.

Oh, and GO to Pitt Cue and eat all the deliciousness without queueing for a table!

Pitt Cue, The Avenue, 1 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4YP

 

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Cinema, theatre and a chilled weekend!

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The week before last spring came to London. It’s was 12C and sunny every day and it was such a treat after the cold spell we had a few weeks before.

I also – finally – finished watching True Detective season one, which I thought was great but uncomfortable to watch when I first started watching it. But I’m currently ploughing through season three so really wanted to finish it. I’m not good at watching scary and uncomfortable series and films on my own. I prefer to read about them, somehow that’s easier. But I’m watching season three together with my boyfriend which makes it so much easier. Maybe because afterwards we talk about other things and it doesn’t stay with me the way it would if I was on my own. But season three is less scary over all. But so good!

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On the Tuesday night we had a date night in Barnes with a pub dinner followed by Green Book at the nice cinema there, The Olympic.

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It has a nice bar, sofas (which we booked) with footstools, little tables for your snacks and blankets if you get cold. Love a cinema like that!

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Wednesday I stayed in and made myself a chicken burger with cheese and pickled pepper for dinner. (Sometimes I get weird cravings like that!)

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Thursday was Valentine’s Day and although we didn’t really meant to go out we ended up going to the theatre and saw Molière’s Tartuffe at the National Theatre. It had some great actors in it but was not a very good production. I don’t really like farcical comedy so it wasn’t really for me anyway, but still… It was the first week of it being put on though, so hopefully it will get a bit better. We just laughed at our first bad theatre experience (and we go a lot so it was bound to happen sometime!) and went home to enjoy a midnight feast of baked Vacherin Mont D’Or instead.

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During the weekend I both cooked and went out for dinner.

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And I made the most amazing cookies after Alison Roman’s recipe – the ones that almost broke the internet! Will post it later!

We also went for a nice walk and enjoyed the sunny weather as much as we could!

 

Recipe: blood orange pannacotta

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Blood orange season is still going strong and of course I had to incorporate the little gems into a fragrant pannacotta, using both the zest and juice. Topped with blood orange segments this is a real stunner!

Blood orange pannacotta, serves 2

250 ml double cream

25 ml demerera sugar

the zest from 2 blood oranges

the juice from 1 blood orange

1 + 1/4 gelatin leaves

To serve:

orange segments from the left over blood orange

Pour the cream and sugar into a nonstick pan and put on medium heat. Add the zest and orange juice to the cream and heat it up until almost boiling, stirring occasionally with a whisk. 

Meanwhile soak the gelatin in cold water.  

Take the cream mixture off the heat. Squeeze the water out of the gelatin and add it to the warm cream. Whisk to make sure it has dissolved then pour the mixture through a fine sieve, to remove the zest and any lumps, and into a jug. Leave to cool for a few minutes then divide the mixture between the pots or glasses you will use for serving. Leave to cool. Then transfer to the fridge and leave them to set for 3 hours. 

Before serving, cut the remaining peel off the left over blood orange and cut into segments

Recipe: classic Moules Marinère my way (with or without potato)

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If I lived closer to a good fishmonger or a supermarket with a good fish counter, this could easily become a Friday tradition; buying a net of juicy mussels, cooking them the classic way with wine and cream, open a nice bottle of white wine to go with them and eat them with some nice crusty bread.

And if I wanted to make the supper a bit more substantial – I would just add potato. I know the potato part isn’t all that classic, but it’s a really nice way to make the mussels more into a main course. And since I use the same recipe I’m basically giving you a two for one here.

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Classic Moules Marinère, serves 2

1 kg fresh mussels

2 small shallots, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped 

1 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp oil 

100 ml dry white wine

300 ml double cream

(3 firm potatoes, peeled and diced)

chopped parsley for serving

Rinse the mussels to get rid of any grit. Remove the beards and throw away any mussels that are broken or don’t close if tapping them. 

Add butter and oil to a large pan and put on medium heat. Fry the onions and garlic for a few minutes without browning. Add the wine and let it bubble a little. Add the cream and stir. Add the mussels and cook with the lid on for a few minutes until the mussels have opened their shells. Season to taste. Scatter with freshly chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread for dipping. 

If you want to add the potato; cook the diced potato in salted water until soft when piercing with a knife. Drain and add to the mussels before serving.

 

Cinema and a lot of cooking (yes!)

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The first week in February was not too busy for me, and that was great since I had to battle a cold. But apart from resting a bit to get rid of said cold and working of course, I also managed to get back into the cooking groove.

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When I’m out a few nights a week I feel it tricky to figure out what to cook the nights I stay in. But when I stay in more I really get into it. I made a nice omelet one day, my go to poke bowl (same ingredients as in this recipe) and pulled pork in brioche buns with aioli.

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I also got a bunch of tulips that lasted surprisingly long and I just love the fact that spring is here and with it TULIP SEASON!

On the Wednesday we went to the cinema to see Can You Ever Forgive Me and although it wasn’t amazing I liked it. Interesting true story and great acting.

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I cooked even more at the weekend. We stayed in every night so I planned it all in advance and ordered everything from Ocado. Much more inspiring than just popping into the small neighbourhood supermarket only to find out that they’re out of stock of the chicken you wanted.

 

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If you want to follow my day to day life a bit more you can follow @scandelights on Instagram as well. As blogging takes a lot of time, I find my instagram account a great compliment of what I eat and do on a more daily basis. Hope to see you there too!

 

 

London: a night at the Opera (House)

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Having lived in London for more than ten years it was about time I visited the Royal Opera House. I have been to the opera and ballet in London before, just never at this venue, so when I got invited to see The Nutcracker in January I was absolutely thrilled. And it certainly was a magical evening.

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A party of four we arrived with plenty of time to enjoy dinner in one of the restaurants beforehand. 

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We toasted in champagne and then tucked into our starter. Mine was a lovely mushroom soup with a dollop of creme fraîche in the middle. The menu was as classic as the surroundings. (In a good way, in case that wasn’t obvious.)

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Next we tried the main course. I loved my generous portion of delicious smoked salmon with a side of creamy potato salad and all the trimmings (creme fraiche, chopped shallots, roe, horseradish, capers and bottarga). Such a treat!

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The restaurant was so efficient we had time to chat and sip wine before making our way into the theatre. I was mesmerised from the start and enjoyed every second.

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In the interval we made our way back to our table in the restaurant were puddings had magically appeared! My pineapple bavaroise was creamy and delicious and a perfect ending to the dinner.

After the second interval I reluctantly left this beautiful space and walked across the street for a night cap. I just wanted to savour the evening for as long as possible.

Royal Opera House, Bow St, London WC2E 9DD

Recipe: blood orange salad with biscotti

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After a freezing few weeks London is heating up. I’m sure we will get another bout of cold weather at some point, but I’m making the most of the warmer weather (right now it’s 12C and sunny!) when I can.

The promise of spring always makes me excited for the produce we’re about to receive. Mamma have actually picked wild garlic at home in (the south of) Sweden already and I can’t wait for asparagus season.

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But I’m getting ahead of myself, as we have another season to enjoy right now; blood orange season. It’s short and sweet (quite literally) and I love these ruby oranges so much. Because when they’re in season they’re always juicy and full of sweetness, unlike regular oranges out there. Same with the texture; they’re more delicate somehow. And absolutely delicious as they are. Which is why I served them sliced with a little vanilla, lightly whipped cream and store-bought biscotti. Simple as can be!

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Blood orange salad with biscotti, serves 2

3 blood oranges – at room temperature

1 clementine or 1/2 blood orange, the juice

1/2 tsp icing sugar

a small pinch of vanilla 

fresh mint to serve

Serve with:

biscotti

lightly whipped cream

Wash the blood oranges and well and dry them. Cut away the “top” and “bottom” (I know, oranges are round  but I mean the ends where the indentations are). Then continue to cut away the rest of the skin and the white bits too. Slice the oranges from top to bottom. Arrange the orange slices on a plate. Mix the citrus juice with icing sugar and vanilla and drizzle it over the plate. Decorate with mint. Serve with biscotti and lightly whipped cream.